Blind spots are tricky because by their very nature, we are not aware of them. Have you given any thought lately to how you come across to others? When was the last time you received some constructive feedback that was productive, not harsh but well intended, and something you were unaware of? The higher up the leadership hierarchy you go, the less you find this happens and often the more blind spots exist.
Ever encountered a loud brash boss who thinks they are hilarious and has absolutely no idea what their colleagues really think of them? Or, on the contrary, an excellent colleague whose blind spot is they are actually unaware of how good they are, and they constantly undersell themselves thus ensuring no future promotion?
We all have blind spots. Yes, I am afraid we do, that means you too. The question is what can we do about them?
The first port of call is yourself. When did you last review your own performance? The point about a blind spot is that we are unaware of it, so this may not uncover it. However if you have recently received some feedback that you pushed to the back of your mind, or you know that last presentation you gave was not up to your usual standard, you can start there. What are you missing? What may be contributing? What are you in denial about regarding your own performance?
Once you have looked at yourself it’s time to get some constructive feedback. The key word here is constructive. This is really important. Don’t ask for feedback from your partner/spouse or best friend – they are biased either positively, or in some cases negatively, towards you. Also, I wouldn’t suggest asking your direct boss for the same reason. Instead, if you are lucky, you may have a trusted colleague who, if asked for some specific, constructive feedback on particular aspects of your performance may be happy to help.
The third tip is to develop your self-awareness by regularly reviewing your whole performance. That means not just the skills you use to do your job. It means your Emotional Intelligence. It’s as important to look at your strengths as your areas for development. Set up a way to track your performance. A simple spreadsheet will do the trick. It’s also important to be clear on what exactly you need to review. Is it your presentation skills, or is it your communication skills? Are you empathetic? Do you build trust in your team? Are you a good listener? These are all important skills to be a good leader and they all need to be reviewed.
If you’d like to find out how you measure up in the 8 traits that predict success in the workplace. Get in touch to do the EBW (Emotions and Behaviours at Work) psychometric assessment. It can be quite an eye-opener!