Four ways to overcome your blind spots

By December 10, 2013All

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Too often, leaders demonstrate certain behaviors that can sabotage their success and undermines both their career and their organization. To succeed as a leader, you need to learn how to recognize your blind spots and overcome them appropriately.

Let’s be honest. We all have blind spots—destructive behaviors that are invisible to us but obvious to everyone else. Our leadership blind spots can create dire and unintended consequences for our team and organization.

No one is immune to blind spots, of course. But leaders are particularly under the microscope when it comes to unwelcomed behaviors.

Blind spots are not flaws; nor are they malicious. They are “programmed” behaviors. The problem are not so much the blind spots themselves but how are they are identified and managed constructively.

John C. Maxwell defines a blind spot as “an area in the lives of people in which they continually do not see themselves or their situation realistically.”

As leaders, how can we avoid the potential danger for yourself and your organization? Here are some suggestions:

Step back and evaluate

Sometimes the difference between a follower and a leader is how they react to certain situations. Do they quickly react? Do they become emotional? Did they gather information to help them understand?

When great leaders step back and evaluate, they become more self-aware of the situation at hand. Instead of jumping the gun and react, they evaluate their own leadership in reflection to act accordingly.

Understand your lack of communication

Sometimes there is a communication gap between what leaders think is enough and what their organization needs. Leaders need to extend to one-on-one leadership conversations throughout the organization.

Leaders often fail to see the damage that is done to their culture when they consistently avoid having the difficult conversation with a non-performer, hoping the issue will resolve itself.

Cultivate relationships throughout your leadership

Relationships are at the heart of all leadership successes and failures. In his book winning with People, John C. Maxwell states: People can usually trace their successes and failures to relationships in their lives.

Every time something positive or negative that happened to you, you can most likely point it back to some relationship you had.

Have a growth mind-set

How you interpret leadership challenges, setbacks, and criticism is your choice. It’s a perfect opportunity to confront your blind spots. You can interpret them in a fixed mindset as signs that your fixed talents or abilities are lacking.

The other option is to interpret them in a growth mindset as signs that you need to ramp up your approaches and effort, stretch yourself, and expand your abilities.

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