This week I participated in a leadership development program which was a week long intensive presenting insightful and practical leadership principles and resources. This included a feedback process where data was collected and compared from a personal and key stakeholders survey to identify leadership strengths and areas for development. The "Life Styles Inventory" feedback report revealed the gap between how I view myself as a leader and how those I work with experience me as a leader. While for the most part the results were affirming, aligning with my self evaluation, the survey highlighted a couple of areas where there was a misalignment between the two. This misalignment between how I view myself and others experience me is called a 'blind spot'.
A 'blind spot' by very nature is something that we cannot see. Life is filled with 'blind spots'. There are 'blind spots' on the road that present a hazard to traffic. 'Blind spots' occur in business making corporations financially vulnerable in the marketplace. Relationships experience 'blind spots' resulting from or leading to a breakdown in communication. Spiritually, 'blind spots' can lead to a crisis of faith and politically, 'blind spots' can cost governments an election. When a 'blind spot' remains unidentified it can seriously derail what success looks like for you.
This week I was given the gift of open and honest feedback that revealed my 'blind spots' as a leader.
Do you know your 'blind spots'? The irony of this question is that unless you have received similar feedback, then the chances are you don't, otherwise it would hardly be a 'blind spot'. Feedback can be confronting and evoke a feeling of vulnerability, but it is my firm conviction that feedback is essential to our growth and development. For years I prided myself on my self awareness, but it is what I don't see that has the potential to cause me and those in my sphere of influence the most damage.
Discovering your 'blind spots' can be the difference between success and failure in your leadership roles, relationships, spiritual journey, career or any other significant arena of life. Discovering your 'blind spots' takes humility and courage to hear what you don't want to hear. Discovering your 'blind spots' opens an opportunity to realise your full potential by providing a platform for personal growth.
"When you can truly understand how others experience your behavior, without defending or judging, you then have the ability to produce a breakthrough in your leadership and team." (Loretta Malandro)