Don’t let your Blind Spots hold you back

In a recent survey of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council, self-awareness ranked as the most essential leadership development competency. Without self-awareness, blind spots in your work style can prevent you from achieving your goals.

Understanding your blind spots—those ineffective behavioral traits you don’t recognize about yourself—requires self-reflection, seeking feedback from others, and enlisting coaching support to force you out of your comfort zone and into a learning zone.

In good times and bad, the most successful leaders play to their strengths and build balanced leadership teams with complementary skills. Most of these leaders developed their abilities over time by understanding their blind spots and developing enough emotional intelligence to transform their actions and reactions. 

A great way to begin a blind-spot-overhaul is with a formal behavioral assessment. You’ll learn how your motivating drivers create needs and impact your most natural behaviors. You’ll also learn how to adjust your actions to your environment. 

An assessment allows you to see beneath the surface to predict how you or others will behave in a given situation. Take the global pandemic, for instance. Are you demonstrating resilience and successfully leading your way through it? Are you naturally proactive or reactive? Do you thrive on change, or does uncertainty strain your naturally steady preference? 

In her book Fearless Leadership, Loretta Malandro identifies 10 behavioral blind spots that often derail leaders:

  1. Going it alone.
  2. Being insensitive of your behaviors on others.
  3. Having an “I know” attitude.
  4. Avoiding difficult conversations.
  5. Blaming others or circumstances.
  6. Treating commitments casually.
  7. Conspiring against others.
  8. Withholding emotional commitment.
  9. Not taking a stand.
  10. Tolerating “good enough.”

Just like when we’re driving our cars, we’ve all got blind spots. Yet, if we focus on growing our strengths and increasing our emotional intelligence, we can leverage the increased self-awareness to manage behaviors better and more positively connect with the people around us. 

Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, said, “The biggest obstacle to increasing your self-awareness is the tendency to avoid the discomfort that comes from seeing yourself as you really are.” 

Why not end 2020 on a high note? Invest in your leadership skills by taking control of your blind spots. You’ll start the New Year with a new lease on work-life.

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Rachael Reece

Rachael Reece

People Strategist, Rachael Reece, founded Ignite-Engagement to help small to mid-sized businesses elevate outcomes through talent optimization and culture building.

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