Leadership Blind Spots
How do I uncover my blind spots?
If you’re asking yourself the above question, chances are that you:
- Have been given some feedback that took you by surprise
- Are struggling with something and can’t work out why you can’t get past it
- Are ready to push your self-awareness to the next level
The problem with blind spots is that you, as a leader or business owner, are unaware of them. You don’t know what you can’t see, or you may be choosing to ignore what you can see as you are not ready to address what needs to change. Either way blind spots are there.
When it comes to being a great leader blind spots can be seen as a sign of weakness, even though they are not always negative. Increasing your self-awareness, is the first step to uncovering your blind spots.
How do you increase your awareness?
Increasing self-awareness, is not a once off thing – and may be easier said than done. However, there are a few habits as a leader that you can start to build which will allow for you to build your self-awareness and have an ongoing process that will help you uncover your blind spots.
Firstly, understand that to increase your self-awareness you need to spend some time hanging out with yourself. Just you. No distractions, no interruptions. So, turn off that phone, shut down your computer and go and find a place that will allow you to sit and just be. One of my clients has a space in their building that they have found is perfect for them to self-reflect in. It has natural sunlight, a comfortable couch and is far away from the pressures of work, so they book out this space for an hour a fortnight.
Find your comfortable space and invest in self-reflection. Consider your values and beliefs, what they are and if they are serving you in your working environment. How are they making you behave? How do they ultimately make you feel? Questioning ourselves, our values, beliefs, and actions allows us to uncover blind spots.
Secondly, spend time having conversations with others about you to increase your self-awareness. This may sound egocentric, but it is not. Seeking feedback from others, around their thoughts and opinions of particular incidences or topics, provides them permission to open up and be honest with you. Be specific with your questions. If you’ve identified that your listening skills are not up-to-scratch then ask questions specific to that topic only.
External exploration allows us to uncover blind spots we may not stumble upon ourselves, or that we may not perceive as a blind spot, but that others do.
Thirdly, pay attention to your inner voice. Self-talk occurs on average over 70,000 times per day. Your self-talk may highlight areas that sit within your cerebellum (the subconscious part of your brain) that if listened to may allow you to uncover some of your blind spots. Be mindful though, that self-talk is a voice of your inner critic, so once you have become aware of a potential blind spot, take the time to apply step one and two above to test this out from gravity.
At the beginning of this year I was working with a client, who I’ll call Gary. Gary had a strong value of respect that was unaware of. I identified that this value of respect was hindering him working well with a new senior stakeholder within his business.
To assist Gary in seeing this blind spot we began with a few development activities focusing on his self-talk. This allowed him to uncover this value of respect. Once he was aware of his value, he spent time reflecting – asking how he felt about this value and how it was making him behave in the working environment. He also sought others feedback around this (including that of his senior stakeholder), which helped him solidify that he had a blind spot when it came to this value of respect in the workplace. He concluded that he didn’t like how this showed up in him when he felt this value being challenged.
By working together, Gary identified this value, the importance of respect in both his professional and personal lives, and we created ways in which he could handle situations differently when he felt this value being challenged at work.
As a leader, sometimes the hardest things to see are those things that are right in front of you. Try to make the steps above a habit. If you’re still stuck to uncover your blind spots then reach out, I’d be happy to see how I can help.
Stop standing still and work towards your goals
I’m Claire – a professional Leadership and Development Coach who empowers helps leaders and business owners to increase their self-awareness and achieve their goals.
Let’s have a chat today to discover how we can help you make progress and achieve success in business and life.
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Stop Standing Still
Sparking awareness. Facilitating development. Achieving growth.