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Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute - a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

Why would someone bungee jump naked?

Last weekend, I volunteered at a naked bungee jumping charity event hosted by WildPlay Element Parks, a North American chain of outdoor recreation parks that feature, in addition to bungee jumping, high-ropes and obstacle climbing, swinging, ziplining and a variety of other treetop activities.  This annual event is now in its 16th year, raising funds for mental wellness programs (through Mental Health Recovery Partners) on Vancouver Island, which is where I live.  Now before you go too far down a specific train of thought, I must clarify that I wasn’t participating in the naked bungee jumping 😊, I was fully-clothed while I managed the registration and check-in desk. 

But, during the course of this sold-out event, I was fortunate to talk to many of the 160 participants and find out more about why they chose to attach themselves to a giant elastic cord, step off the edge of a bridge, free-fall over 150 ft, rebound several times, and if that wasn’t enough, do it in the buff.  The reasons were varied – ranging all the way from “I’m jumping in honour of a loved one” to “I’m recovering from mental, emotional or physical trauma, and this is one way in which I can take control of my life”.  The most common response I heard however – “I wanted to do something that would take me waaaay outside my comfort zone, and this is it”.

As I watched, many of these individuals climbed to the top of the jump bridge, and then, as the realization of what they were about to do became more real, they started to hesitate.  Agonizing minutes later, as they made their way to the edge of the sheer drop and their knuckles grew white from gripping the metal railings, there was no doubt in my mind that many had begun to question their own sanity.  It was what happened in those nervous minutes between ascending the bridge and making the jump that warmed my heart.  The more nervous the person was, the more support they received.  Friends, family and perfect strangers shouted out encouragement from the sidelines – “You can do it,” “You’ve got this,” “You’re courageous” were just some of what I heard.  I listened to the jump crew offer last minute instructions and comforting advice at the top of the bridge.  I saw the jump master quietly talk the participant through the moments of panic just before the jump.  I grinned and joined in when spectators broke into loud applause just after the jump.  And I watched while people congratulated the jumper later – the more nervous they’d been, the more acknowledgements they seemed to receive.

As leaders, we often push our people to step outside their comfort zone.  We are pleased when they do, and frequently frustrated when they don’t.   But I wonder if we realize how much our support and encouragement can matter.  Do we cheer and urge them on?  Do we offer comforting advice as they take unfamiliar steps?  Are we there to talk them through the difficult moments?  Do we applaud them when they finally take the jump?  And do we acknowledge and recognize them when all is done?  I hope so.  Because if there is one thing my volunteer shift at the naked bungee jumping event taught me, it is that reassurance and praise matter.   If we want our employees to step outside their comfort zone (whether at work or elsewhere), then we need to be cheerleaders, teachers, allies, advocates, and champions, and sometimes all at the same time.  If leaders want to create an innovative, resourceful, and forward-thinking work culture, then they need to support and encourage their people to make change happen.

So, are you creating a workplace culture in which people can successfully step outside their comfort zones?  Are you supportive and encouraging to make change happen?  I’d love to hear about your experiences, either as a leader, or about a leader you know?  Please comment directly on the blog at www.turningmanagersintoleaders.com/blog.


In-person meetings are happening again!!

As much as Merge has enjoyed delivering learning programs virtually over the last two years, we are all VERY excited that in-person meetings are starting to return.  In just the last few weeks, Merge has been booked to speak, LIVE and in-person, at almost a dozen events, as quickly as in this month and all the way out to September 2022.  Whether you want your learning to be virtual or in-person, Merge is here to help you make it happen!  Please contact us to discuss your learning needs (and desires) further.


Turning Managers Into Leaders


That Merge designs and delivers leadership skills training uniquely crafted for your organization and your people?

In any training design, there are many elements to choose from, and Merge will work closely with you to determine your specific needs and establish objectives that are relevant and meaningful to you. Your final outcome could be a one-time training event or a series of graduated learning programs; it could involve online or distance-learning modules; it could contain audio or video components; it could incorporate the use of social media or "virtual study groups"; it could even include peer support or one-on-one mentoring. Whatever it is, it will be uniquely "you", and Merge will expertly craft and deliver what you need to turn your managers into leaders and your people power into real and tangible results. Visit our Training Services section at our website for more information. Or for a first-hand look at what Merge can help you accomplish, read through our Training Case Studies.

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New and Notable Blog Posts Did You Know