Monday, May 12, 2008

Risk-Taking Redux: Getting Started

My post last week encouraged everyone to start taking risks – accepting a new assignment, trying something outside your “comfort zone.”

Risk taking can lead to reward. But, if taking risks is hard for you (or someone you know), it’s OK to begin slowly.

I’ll call this “Risk Taking for DUMMIES” …. Hey, they’re best-sellers after all!

1) First, write down small risks that you would be willing to take.

Here are some suggestions:

•Deliver a presentation to your peers
•Be responsible for a segment of an upcoming corporate or departmental meeting
•Volunteer to serve on a company-wide initiative or taskforce

2) Next, put a deadline date next to the risk you plan to take. Then, ask yourself the questions I posed last week: “What is the worst that can happen?” … and, “Then what?”

3) Then, take the risk. Evaluate how everything turned out.

4) Celebrate the accomplishments – even the smallest steps of growth.

Keep building from taking small to larger risks. Embrace the adage, “Success breeds success.”

Remember your childhood when you were in the playground on the jungle gym? In order to cross to the other side, you needed to let go of one hand, and move it forward to grab the next bar.

That is what I suggest we all do for career-related risks – let go of one hand. Open up to the possibilities. See what you can learn, and contribute.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Last month I was debating whether I should ask for a raise. The worst that could happen was if my boss said no. If that happened I would be no worse off. Luckily I took the risk and she approved my raise!