Fearless and Bold: Helping Others To Take RisksDec 20, 2023
One trait that can either hold us back or propel us forward is our attitude towards risk. Risk aversion, the fear of taking chances, can hinder growth and innovation, while embracing risk can lead to extraordinary achievements.
We will explore the factors contributing to risk aversion, the difference between risk aversion and risk tolerance, and practical strategies to overcome it and unlock our true potential.
What about risk aversion?
Risk aversion is a learned behavior influenced by observation, personal experiences, and/or cultural norms. Fear of failure, loss of stability, or preserving the status quo can all contribute to risk aversion. Recognizing that risk aversion is a mindset that can be changed over time is the first step towards embracing a more daring approach.
Where are we headed?
Becoming risk tolerant requires patience, practice, and a shift in mindset. It starts with fostering a culture of psychological safety, where every team member feels safe to share ideas and concerns without fear of punishment or ridicule. Open dialogue and treating mistakes as learning opportunities, rather than failures, are crucial elements for building risk tolerance.
What we can do to help the transition?
- Provide clear objectives and guidelines: Defining goals and boundaries within a team helps in efficient operations and reduces friction and competition.
- Start small and celebrate progress: Encourage small incremental risks and acknowledge and celebrate the progress made.
- Encourage experimentation and learning: Focus on learning from outcomes rather than dwelling on what went wrong, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
- Lead by example: Demonstrate your willingness to take calculated risks and share personal experiences to inspire and gain acceptance from your team.
- Provide support and resources: Offering guidance, mentorship, and access to resources helps assess risks and develop risk mitigation strategies.
- Measure and reward risk-taking behavior: Recognize and reward individuals or teams demonstrating a willingness to take calculated risks, reinforcing the desired cultural shift.
- Continually assess and adapt: Learn from both successes and failures, adjust your approach, and encourage open feedback to ensure a continuous cycle of learning and improvement.
Risk aversion is a transformative journey that requires introspection, patience, and guidance. By fostering a culture of psychological safety, setting clear objectives, and celebrating progress, practicing leaders can empower their teams to embrace risks and unlock their true potential.
Changing mindsets takes time and effort, but the rewards are immeasurable. It's time to step out of our comfort zones, embrace change, and unleash our inner risk-takers for a future filled with growth and success.
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