If you’re a leader or an HR professional, one of your jobs is to help others grow, whether through developing new skills or encouraging them to take the leap to new responsibilities. But just because you’re confident the person’s ready for the next step, it doesn’t mean the employee is. Even an employee who’s been asking for the promotion or appealing to get involved with high-profile projects can suddenly get cold feet when that dream turns into a reality.
It’s not all that surprising when you think about it, though. Change, even welcome change, can be scary. You’re entering the unknown, the expectations are high and you have a lot to learn. And we know that learning is uncomfortable. So, when you’re working with someone who seems reluctant to take a big step, or maybe they’re struggling in a new role, the culprit might be something very simple and primal: fear.