As I mentioned last week David Peterson is the Director of Executive Coaching & Leadership at Google.

He mentioned a phrase which stuck with me: “There’s no learning in the comfort zone, and there’s no comfort in the learning zone.” Last week I talked about the first part, today I’d like to focus on the second.

Why does learning push you out of your comfort zone?

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I had a chance to see a presentation by David Peterson recently; he’s the Director of Executive Coaching & Leadership at Google. And a brilliant coach!

He mentioned a phrase which stuck with me: “There’s no learning in the comfort zone.” There’s actually a second part of the statement, but I’m going to talk about that next week.

So why would the comfort zone be a place of no learning?

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What’s the motivation behind your marketing efforts?

This is a real struggle for many businesses right now, because many existing efforts don’t seem to be working. They’re advertising like crazy, but sales have dried up because customers are extraordinarily cautious.

And the strong “buy my stuff!!!” messages can seem overbearing and insensitive.

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We tend to focus an awful lot on innovation for technology and products. Which are fine, but there’s a different kind of improvement we need even more.

Redesigning our society.

This comes to mind because of recent protests of social injustice, yes. But I also look at what other places in our culture which are also broken:

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You may be asking people to make tough sacrifices right now. Reduced hours, changing jobs, making tough decisions.

You’ve thought a lot about it, so you’ve laid out the new plans. Letting every person know what they need to do and how.

But this is missing a key element: Why?

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In uncertain times, we rely on confidence from others around us. We look to political, community, and business leaders to provide direction.

But more than being told what to do, we want to know why. Part of that is assigning blame for something out of our control, but that’s only the negative side of it.

On the good side, we’re looking for a reason to get out of the fight-or-flight response. Our higher selves want to move forward with purpose and intention.

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Video conferencing has taken over our lives! Many of us are feeling the effects.

And the loss of human contact.

I was talking about this with a friend recently. She’s an expert in public speaking, and has been working with presenters to adapt themselves to the online format. The changes go a lot deeper than you might think!

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Many of my readers are really struggling right now. Loss of work, lack of direction, confusion.

I had a chance to coach someone recently who was sensing this quite profoundly. Confined to his house, without work prospects, he’s finding it hard to move forward in any useful direction.

But here’s the thing: he’s actually been given a gift.

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This is a very stressful time, so we’re all doing it.

Making mistakes.

That’s just par for the course, really. And it doesn’t help that information and advice is constantly changing. Something which seemed right yesterday may feel like totally the wrong thing today.

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Last week I talked about asking for and getting help when you really need it. And right now, a lot of people need help.

So it’s also a time of giving – which may feel silly when you yourself are struggling. But there are some solid reasons why this can be so powerful.

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