Studies show that as people climb the leadership ladder, their emotional quotient & self-awareness decline. Conventionally, we seem to assume that with seniority & experience, self-awareness rises, but it is quite the opposite. Weaknesses, unlike blind spots, can be identified, assessed and worked on. Blind spots, on the other hand, are much intrinsic & personal. They exist in the leaders without the leader knowing it. And therefore, since they are unidentifiable they are never worked on and the leader remains oblivious to how they affect the work environment & productivity.
Having the ‘only I know’ attitude, conspiring against others, avoiding conflicting or problematic situations, refusal to take help from others, being insensitive towards others contribution, problems or opinions, not taking other people’s time & energy seriously, playing the blame game, tolerating mediocre performances and not able to take a stand are some of the blind spots that leaders in the highest rungs possess.
Cure Your Blind Spots
- Ask for feedback: Feedback will give you clarity on your blind spots. ‘Do you think I am not supportive of others’ problems?’ ‘do you think I am avoiding the situation?’ Blunt and straightforward questions will give space to straightforward answers which will help you watch out for these blind spots.
- Avoid Being The Sole Decision Maker: Make the decision making process more inclusive by including diverse thinkers. This way you keep your employees motivated & engaged. And this will also help you learn a great deal.
- Go Back To Your Past As A Leader: Have you ever struggled as a leader? Any untoward incident which you could have avoided if not for your blind spots? Any previous feedback from mentors or colleagues that you overlooked? This process of examining your past will open many doors and allow you to pursue your blind spots more easily.
- Identify The Triggers: Triggers generally are certain situations or circumstances which force you to react impulsively or instinctively which at times could work against you. Spot these triggers and realise the impact they have on your reactions & subsequent actions. Be prepared for them the next time.
- Find A Blind Spot Buddy: Someone who you can trust or are very close to; a confidante or a mentor who will not shy away from correcting you or pointing out your blind spots.
The more open and receptive you are to your blind spots the better it will be for you as well as your company. The smallest of things make the biggest of impact.