Living in the Zone of Genius
Living in the Zone of Genius, have you heard of the zone of genius? It is one of the four zones discussed in a book called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. Living in the zone of genius is considered by many to be the best option as a way to live and build a career. Below, we will be diving deeper into what this zone is, and we’ll briefly discuss the other zones, so you can see why the zone of genius is typically the right choice.
What Are the Zones?
According to Hendricks, there are four zones of function that apply to how people are operating. Let’s get a look at these, so you can get a better idea of why the zone of genius is a fantastic choice.
First, there is the zone of incompetence. As the name suggests, this isn’t a zone where you will want to spend much time. When you are in this zone, it means you are engaging in something in which you have no skill or that you do not understand.
Second is the zone of competence. When you are in this zone, you do things you are efficient at. However, you soon realize that plenty of other people are just as competent. Therefore, you aren’t doing anything that will help to distinguish your abilities or set you apart from the crowd. Essentially, it means you are doing a job that countless other people could do just as well or better.
The third is the zone of excellence. You are doing tasks where you have a substantial amount of impressive skill. Most people tend to work hard and build skills over time to reach the zone of excellence. It might seem like a good option, too. After all, many people feel that it can be a good way to build and structure a career. However, it still may not be the best option.
The zone of genius is where you are using your natural abilities. These are the things that are innate to who you are instead of learned skills. This is the zone where people tend to feel most comfortable. They can be more easily inspired, they feel more comfortable, and they are able to do unique and creative work. Additionally, the things people can do in their zone of genius are ahead of what others are doing.
Why Is the Zone of Genius the Right Choice?
When looking at each of these zones, it might seem like the zone of excellence is a perfectly good option. However, people who settle for the zone of excellence are not usually very happy. While they might have some learned skills that are helping them with their current career path, it can become boring and unrewarding. The people who stick to this zone are those who will continue working for other people. They aren’t generally doing anything groundbreaking on their own. They are simply iterating on things others have already done.
The zone of genius, on the other hand, is where we start to see people truly excelling. They are highly successful when they get into this zone and rely on their natural skills, creating projects that are more satisfying overall.
Even though people may share certain interests, skills, and styles as others, your zone is still going to be unique. It’s part of your overall person. It is who you are, and it allows you to do things others can’t even when they are in a similar or the same field.
Benefits of the Zone of Genius
You will find that there are some fantastic benefits for individuals and organizations when you encourage people to find and embrace their zone of genius.
Happier Employees with More Engagement
When you encourage employees to use their special talents, skills, and strengths, it is going to help them become happier in their workplace roles. When people do this, they tend to feel more fulfilled and happier in their lives at work and outside of work. They feel more valued and pleased about their situation.
You want happy employees because they tend to be more productive, and they are more engaged with the workplace. They know that the work they are doing matters, and they see that you trust in them enough to let them shine with their natural talents. These employees are far more engaged because they can see that what they are doing matters.
When workers are happy and engaged, you will find that they tend to be more productive. They love that they are able to do the things they enjoy and that come naturally to make a living and to contribute meaningfully.
Of course, when you have employees who like what they do and where they work, it is going to increase retention rates. You won’t have to worry as much about constantly filling roles as your employees start to move on to what they feel will be greener pastures.
The Team Gets Better
One of the other benefits you will likely notice when you have employees who are living in the zone of genius is that it has a ripple effect. The happiness and productivity are contagious, and this can help to improve the team’s morale and overall team engagement. Once one or two employees embrace and adopt the zone of genius, you will find that others are likely to follow suit and want to do the same.
The progress they make in a field they enjoy helps them to increase their levels of confidence. Many of those who embrace this zone will eventually want to take on management and leadership roles in the company.
Ultimately, they tend to become stronger employees and people, and they can bounce back from failures quickly because they believe in themselves.
People in the Genius Zone Think Outside of the Box and It’s Good for Them
Sometimes, it can be frightening for people to consider changing their current course in life. They might currently be trying to live in the zone of excellence, or the zone of competence, just make ends meet and get through the week. While they might be safe, they aren’t happy. A lot of people who are feeling unsatisfied with their role might want to think about why that is and what they could be doing differently. It might mean changing your current patterns.
This could result in some large changes in your life, but it doesn’t mean that those are bad changes. Finding a way to live in the genius zone can change your life for the better.
Of course, companies need to start thinking about this when it comes to how they hire and how they structure their company. They want to find people who are right for the roles and who have the innate skills they require. Organizations should strive to create a work culture and structure that helps to better facilitate the zone of genius. Let’s look at a few of the ways that companies might be able to do this.
How to Get Employees into the Zone of Genius
What’s the first thing an organization needs to do? They need to first understand the zone of genius and make sure it’s clear to their employees what this means. When everyone understands their special zone of genius, they can start to spend more time within that zone. Together with the leaders in the organization, they can start to create a better work environment that encompasses that specific type of work.
This might mean making some changes in the organization. Creating more comfortable and flexible work environments and allowing the employees to focus on creative work that fits their zone of genius is necessary. This could mean allowing staff to work different hours of the day, for example.
It is also important for everyone to know and understand more about the different zones each person has. This can help ensure they are acting together as a team and the right people on the team are handling different tasks. Good communication in the workplace is essential whether you’re talking about the zone of genius or anything else. Without proper communication, the teams will flounder, and the company will have problems.
It’s not just up to the organization, though. Individuals at the company will also want to look deeper into what their special zone of genius is and then find ways they can contribute from within that zone.
A lot of people don’t realize that they could have things a lot easier in life if they focused on the areas. Where they were already skilled rather than trying to continually improve weak areas. Improving those weaknesses might seem like a good idea. But it typically means they end up staying in roles that they don’t really like.
Take the time to learn more about what makes you special and the areas where you would do the best and see how you can apply them to your current job.