One of the hardest things for a leader or learner (and also most important) is the identification of our blind spots.
Blind spots are naturally occurring parts of our personalities, work ethics, ways of thinking, etc. that have been shaped by our upbringing and life so far. Unlike the issues we know we have and face, these are often hidden, at least until others help us to see them.
For instance, I know of two blind spots that I have to work around. First, I can sometimes move into the realm of seeing just the trees, and not the forest. I can get so caught up in my own work that I forget the others around me, and that can make me seem as if I am being standoffish or rude. It also requires me to surround myself with those who are great at seeing the big picture. As I’ve reflected on previously, I also talk too much. I don’t think I do, but it’s clear to everyone else. So, I have to work very hard to remind myself of this, and keep it in my view, so it doesn’t revert to its blind spot status.
Since we all have both visible and hidden issues, there is nothing truly problematic about having blind spots. Instead, we have to welcome them once they are made clear to us, and work hard to find ways to not only address them in the moment, but also explore how we can keep them in the forefront of our minds as we learn and lead. Identified blind spots are no longer technically blind, and while it is unlikely that we’ll remove them from our way of being, as long as we remain aware of them, we’re a step closer to becoming better thanks to them.
I’m always looking for other blind spots as well, as I see them as a means to improving in areas I didn’t know I needed too, and likely didn’t know I could.