Because of the pace of change, and the rapid expansion of knowledge, navigating your way in the workplace has become a lot more difficult and a lot more uncertain. There is always fear, mostly fear of making mistakes, fear of failing. How can we combat this fear and get beyond it?
In this new business environment, it will be necessary first and foremost to try new things, and to develop a new mindset, one that sees errors not as missteps, but as part of taking on new challenges.
One way to help deal with the uncertainty and anxiety is to find a mentor, someone who can be a role model. Having someone who has been through similar experiences can help by sharing what he or she has learned, how she overcame mistakes, how he got beyond his missteps. Having a mentor provides the needed support to help you move on after a setback – you know that your mentor survived errors and kept moving ahead, and so you can too.
Another way that businesses can help create a climate of success rather than fear is by training workers in what are called micro-behaviors. Some of these behaviors can be detrimental to employee cohesion at work, especially when it involves a lack of support. One example of a detrimental micro-behavior is when a suggestion made by a woman is treated with disdain, simply because it was made by a woman. When a similar suggestion is made by a man, and receives praise, this kind of micro-behavior creates a bad climate at work. Employers can help train employees to see such behavior and work to change it.
Another way employers can help workers deal with fears is to create an atmosphere at work where mistakes are looked at positively, as a necessary part of growth and development, not as a sign of incompetence. Companies need to create an environment where workers are encouraged to try new things and take chances, to be free to make a misstep without fear of getting chewed out over it.
And finally, all workers need to realize that anything worth doing, anything important, is always going to be a little scary when first attempted.
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