Humans At Work with Michael Glazer

#70: Why and How to Explore Outside Your Comfort Zone

How can you push your limits, take risks and explore your true potential? How can you develop the mindset, discipline and commitment needed for adventurous activities in life – both at work and beyond? This episode focuses on three key ingredients for making this a reality.


Sue Stockdale knows about adventure. She is the UK’s first female to ski to the Magnetic North Pole, a TEDx speaker, executive coach and the author of several books, including Explore: A Life of Adventure. In it, and in our Humans At Work conversation, Sue shares stories about her adventures to some of the remote corners of the world including the North Pole, Antarctica and Greenland. And, she explains why stepping out your comfort zone is key to living a fulfilling life and achieving your potential.

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Episode Highlights

   2:29  What it means to "be uncomfortable"

   4:19  Viewing conflict as a pathway to positive results

6:38  Switching from controlling to curiosity

8:24  Willingness to be uncomfortable opens up new career possibilities

12:05   Where leaders and teams play it safe

13:53   The power of switching from "me" to "we"

15:30   Challenges of skiing across the Greenland Icecap

16:38  Team dynamics and adapting when your lives are at risk

21:52  An unconventional approach to feedback for leaders

22:59  Getting the most valuable feedback in the least amount of time

25:18 The link between curiosity and success

26:58 Powerful teambuilding activity: the what-if game

30:46 What it's like at the North Pole

32:40 Ingredients to help us enjoy even difficult journeys

37:27 Overcoming mental challenges of skiing to the North Pole

41:35 Helping leaders and teams work through similar challenges

43:04 Neutralizing negative self-talk

44:55 Powerful reframing


Sue’s view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today

“For me, it's connectedness...for people to feel recognized and heard, which therefore enables that connectedness to others. And I see things happening, I see activities happening, you might argue we all have these platforms where we can do instant messaging, of course, we're connected. But certainly do we really feel connected? Do we feel heard by our colleagues? And so I think it comes back to just having time for one another. Just like we're having this conversation today, Michael, you're looking me in the eye, you're engaging with me as a human being. And I feel connected to you in this conversation. For me, nothing beats that. And I just see that we could have some more of that in the workplace. I think that would help without our well being that we felt we were really part of something and being heard.”

What “working with humans” means to Sue

“Oh, it's a wonderful phrase. It's seeing people as in all aspects, Have their wonderfulness. So not a job title, you know, just themselves and everybody has a spark of brilliance. And I just love that idea that I always think about if you if you met your boss or the most senior person in your company, at a bus stop when you were waiting on the bus and there were just a person next to you and you were having a conversation with them. You would see them as a human being. And then all of a sudden we go into the workplace and we give somebody a big desk and a job title and put them as some remote person and all of a sudden they seem much more scary. At the heart of it, they're still a human being. And the wonderful thing of going to the Arctic is that it doesn't matter how much money you've got, how important of a job you've got. You are just a human being and you're surviving with other human beings. And that is wonderful thing about that phrase humans at work, that we are all just people.”


Follow: Sue's website

Watch: Transformation Begins in the Mind (TEDx)

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