Blindspots on Leadership
We all know that blind spots when driving can lead to unintended mishaps and expensive damages. The same can be said for blind spots in your career, which is why it’s so important to be aware of them. So what exactly are professional blind spots? Here are five things you need to know.
Blind spots occur when our intentions and perceptions don’t match. In other words, when there’s a disconnect between what we believe we’re projecting and how others actually experience us. There are hidden gaps and because of those gaps, our professional reputations are not what we imagine.
That’s how promising careers suddenly get derailed with no apparent explanation. Think about the people in your office who tend to misjudge some of their own attributes. There’s a fine line between confident and arrogant, between intelligent and condescending, between innovative and rebellious. Ever had to work with people who regularly crossed those lines? Perhaps they took their positive traits, ones they had been rewarded for in the past, and just took them too far.
Passionate evolved to overzealous or decisive became abrupt. These people have great intentions, but they fall short. Inadvertent behaviors and unconscious habits are sabotaging their success and they simply can’t see it.
Blind spots aren’t always negative. Sometimes we’re oblivious to a reputation gap in our own favor. That’s when others admire some of our skills and talents that we brush off as unimportant.When we undervalue ourselves, we’re limiting our own potential. We’re missing out.
Managing our blind spots requires strong emotional intelligence. We can’t fix our blind spots if we don’t know they exist. That means learning to really tune in to ourselves and others on a different level. Increasing your self-awareness, listening more intentionally, watching for any non-verbal signs that our messages aren’t being received the way we intended.
Blind spots can usually be managed with small changes. It hardly ever involves a complete overhaul of your communication style or leadership approach. Sometimes even subtle shifts in your behavior and mindset can completely transform your professional trajectory. However, keep in mind, blind spots are perpetual hazards. They can and will crop up throughout your career and managing them is an ongoing process.
Finally everybody has blind spots and I do mean everyone.
Me, you, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, no one is exempt. Here’s the difference. The most successful people typically know how to detect and manage blind spots almost instantly. They had the uncanny ability to read all kinds of people and situationsand respond appropriately. They’re highly sensitive to the perceptions they create and they work hard to make sure their intentions match their impact.
It’s a valuable and lucrative talent that catapults careers beyond any technical or financial expertise. So now that you understand the concepts of blind spots, you can begin to acquire this coveted talent. You’re already on your way. By working to find and manage your leadership blind spots, you’ll be prepared for career success at a much higher level.