I was talking to someone last week after a presentation, and she said, “All this leadership and communication stuff is great, but it doesn’t really apply to me. Everyone likes me.”
That may be true sister, but let’s face it, you don’t know what you don’t know. We all have blind spots. A blind spot is a part of our personality or behavior that we’re not aware of, yet others can see it. And regardless of our intelligence, emotional or otherwise, we all have them.
If you want to continue to grow, personally or professionally, it helps to become more self-aware. If you’re ready for a reality check and want to uncover your blind spots, try these suggestions:
- You have to want to know what your blind spots are. If you’re not ready to uncover them, that’s ok. Ignorance is bliss and sometimes we’re not in a place to “work” on our own issues. Give yourself permission not to worry about it until it’s something you can really focus on.
- If you do seek feedback, be prepared to listen without getting defensive. Ask questions and make statements, but don’t attack and don’t defend.
- Ask the people who know you and care about you to be honest and give you constructive feedback. Giving feedback is a risk, so be grateful if people are willing to give it.
- Pick one area and focus on it. Behavior changes one of three ways: rarely, slowly, or never. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. It will become overwhelming and nothing will change.
- Seek on-going feedback and make it safe for people to provide it. If you get defensive and argumentative, people will stop giving you feedback.
- Ask for positive, as well as constructive feedback. Ask others about your strengths and where they see you making progress.
- It’s a journey, not a destination. No matter how enlightened we are, we’ll always have some blind spots, and that’s ok. Continuously striving for progress is the goal.
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