In my work as an experiential educator in the fields of leadership and team building, I often invite people to play with their edges. I do this because we know from research and practice that when an individual does this, growth and learning happens. We know that when growth and learning happens, capacity expands.
It’s easier to talk about when we are all in our comfort zones. What I know and what I experienced while hiking up Doe mountain is that when I was afraid, that would have been the absolute worst time to talk to me about expanding my capacity. If you would have asked me in that moment “what are you learning?”…I probably would have cussed you out and said something like “I have no f#*king idea what I’m learning, I’m just trying to keep one foot in front of the other and not fall off this d#%m edge”.
I share this because sometimes as a leader you simply have to take people to their edges and give them experiences there. The time to reflect and articulate the learning from the experience is NOT when the person is playing on the edges of the experience. Those times are generally messy, emotional, and COMPLETELY necessary for growth and learning to happen. Understanding happens with reflection, choice, and application of these newly learned skills.
Some of your colleagues will LOVE talking about what they are learning from the edges, some will LOVE not talking about what they are learning from the edges and rather enjoy simply playing there, some will resist going to the edges yet yearn to go there, while others will LOVE to list the step by step procedure for going to the edges and beyond.