Like most cars, leaders are having blind spots as well; areas where we have difficulty seeing clearly. Either we are too busy to identify our blind spots or our pride stands in the way to recognize them.
“Professional blind spots” are causing smart, well-meaning leaders to be perceived in negative ways by their colleagues. These otherwise talented people don’t recognize that an underlying attitude or behavior is hurting them and holding them back. Exploring your blind spots will support increased leadership and impact.
Identify your leadership blind spots in three steps and help our direct reports to do the same:
1. Honestly look at yourself
Start to consider how you would like to be perceived by others. How would you like to communicate, what impact would you like to make?
2. Invite others to give us feedback
We all have blind spots and the best way to see them is to collect unbiased feedback from people you interact with every day. You may wish to use a formal 360 degrees method, you could also ask the following 3 simple questions like:
- What should I continue doing?
- What should I stop doing?
- What should I start doing?
Knowing what you’re good at is just as important as addressing and improving your weaknesses. It’s not always easy to receive feedback. Realize that feedback is only telling you about observed behavior, it doesn’t tell anything about who you really are.
Listen, think carefully about what you hear, and decide what you want to do with it. You may also uncover hidden strengths.
3. Be willing to make changes
Be prepared to adjust your behavior and closely watch the effect on others. If you are willing to work on it, but you just don’t know how …. ask for support from your manager or get a great coach.
If you manage to fruitfully work with this feedback loop, you’ll be able to dramatically increase your natural leadership skills, impact and (team) performance.
How do you identify your blind spots? Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear.