So you have just received a promotion at work! Congratulations! It may be tempting to share your good news with friends, family and loved ones, but everything you have to share is not intended for everyone to hear.
Whether it’s a promotion at work, baby on the way, or the reuniting with a long lost love, when it comes to sharing your good news every listening ear has a level of readiness to receive. I’d like to introduce you to what I call the zone of proximal readiness. You can use this zone to determine to what extent a person is best ready to celebrate the good news with you.
To understand this idea, let’s explore a concept known throughout the field of education as the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The “zone” is the space between where you can perform a task on your own, and where you can do something only with guidance. The ZPD is an indicator about what a person is ready to learn, based on what they already know.
Your zone of proximal development is the place where learning something new for you feels just right — it’s not too difficult that you are frustrated, and it’s not so easy that you are not growing. The reason learning feels appropriate in your zone is because you bring a certain amount of knowledge and experience to the new learning. You’re able to use what you know to learn what you don’t know.
Just as there is the Zone of Proximal Development for learning, I’d like to propose that there is also a zone of proximal engagement, or the space indicating a person’s readiness to converse on a subject. The zone is the intersection between experiences and beliefs as it relates to a particular topic.
Experiences teach people how to navigate situations. They also help people form opinions in order to establish what they believe to be true. Talking with someone who is in your zone of proximal engagement feels good, and it’s a conversation you want to continue.
Let's go back to where we started in this article. You have just received a promotion at work! You share the news with your cousin who happens to be in the zone intersecting her three year unemployment streak (experience) with her pessimism about the job market (belief).
Why isn't your cousin isn't ready to hear about your good news? How can you find the right people to share it with? Discover the answer in the full article in my column at PracticalWisdomThatWorks, a place where you can learn about how to apply Spiritual Laws to your life, and access tools to further your evolution.
Blogs by Fenesha
Fenesha is a personal growth and professional development specialist who helps people navigate difficult topics with ease.