Monday, March 10, 2014

Blind Spots

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A woman is taking a shower and hears the doorbell. She yells, "who's there?" and the visitor answers "it's the blind man". So, she figures it's no problem to answer the door naked. Upon opening the door the guy says "hi lady, where do you want me to hang the blinds?"

Or....a Blind Spot is a behavior “that you don’t know that you don’t know about”. They are the behaviors that everyone else knows about…but YOU are the only one who doesn’t know. Blind spots are the things you do that work against you. So, if you don’t know about them how can you take action?

Saying hello to your blind spots presents a huge opportunity to grow because you’ve got to know about something before you can decide whether you want to change it. But the real starting point has to be deciding whether you want to know. Are you ready to know? Are you brave enough? And are you ready to take action on your blind spots?

If your answer is yes, here’s what you can do.
  • First, ask some difficult questions of some people you trust. Stephen Covey has a great method: ask your questions in terms of what you should start, stop or continue doing. Ask about your behaviors.
  • Next, pick ONE behavior to work on…first. You can work on all of ‘em, but only ONE at a time.
  • Step three is the toughest one because we usually need help to increase awareness of our own behaviors: ask your “trustees” to catch you in the act. (Ask them to go easy on you) and to call attention to the behavior that YOU want to change. Just to signal you or save a few words to let you know that “you’re doing it right now”.

    When you ask about your blind spots…when you enlist others to help you change…when you work hard to change a behavior you become the best kind of manager: a role model.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jake,
I really like this. I like the idea of consciously giving this level of dialogue a context; If I imagine myself actually seeking out someone to give me this level of feedback, I would imagine a 15min conversation set up for that purpose. This would create the context for the questions and "hold" the process of developing a new and different level of conversation between us. This could be implemented as one way to utilize the one-on-one meetings that you talked about earlier.

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