Don’t Ignore Your Blind Spots
A few weeks ago, I re-discovered my blind spot on the interstate on my way home, unbeknownst, to me there was a car in my blind spot and as I attempted to switch lanes I saw ‘the car’ a macro-second too late. Fortunately, the other driver was attentive and instinctively swerved away from my car, honking repeatedly to gain my attention. He got my attention alright, and as I swerved back to my prior lane I waved my apologies. I am grateful the story ended without any incidents.
Blind spots are natural!
Blind spots are simply areas where views are obstructed and some of which could be the little ‘miscues’ that make a difference between life and death; organizational success or failure or national praise or embarrassment.
Claudia Shelton, in the book titled, “Blind Spots” defined, “Blind Spots as patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving often done unconsciously that can negatively influence one’s relationships with other people, often showing up when one is stressed or overusing one’s greatest strengths.” How apt!
Blind spots could be lethal!
Can you imagine what could have happened if I didn’t see the car at the last minute and if the other driver wasn’t attentive as well? Here’s another recent example by Tom McFeeley whose article elaborated on the NFL’s commissioner’s blind spot as the culprit for the NFL’s miscues. One of the challenges of blind spots is its subtle and unconscious nature which rarely affords anyone ample response time. In addition, blind spots by virtue of its invisible trait feeds the false perception of normalcy.
We, all have blind spots.
Bruna Martinuzzi, in her article, “8 Ways to Conquer Your Leadership Blind Spots”, stated leaders’ especially senior leaders in organizations are more likely to overrate themselves and nurture their blind spots which could ultimately hinder effectiveness.
Manage your blind spot
Right now, is the best time to manage your blind spots. Below are some recommendations I know have worked from training and coaching other leaders.
- Properly adjust your ‘mirrors’ by double checking your assumptions.
- Ask questions and challenge held-traditions.
- Expand your knowledge by reading up on topics you have limited or no familiarity.
- Find a leadership coach or a mentor because according to Proverbs 11:14, “… there is safety in having many advisers.”
- Perform a 360 degrees leadership assessment.
For more information (workshops etc) on how to manage blind spots or other leadership challenges or terrains, please do not hesitate to contact me.
‘Flo Falayi, Ph.D.(c), PMP is the President of Hybrid Leaders Inc., a consulting and coaching practice focused on empowering leaders. Flo’s doctoral research is on Hybrid Leaders, which focuses on the distinct leadership styles of bi-cultural managers. Flo is a hybrid- American Born, British Trained and Nigerian Raised leadership and relationship consultant and a member of the Yale University’s Edward Bouchet Honor Society.
Image source: http://crimsonconcrete.unst.pdx.edu/website/?page_id=224