The Power of Y.O.U. and Identifying Your Blind Spots: Part 1 of 3
Power Quote of the Month
“If you have one finger pointing out at someone, there are 3 fingers pointing back at you”
This is the first article in a 3 part series
Identifying your blind spots is challenging if you’re not conscious of them. Becoming willing to be aware that you may possess them is the first step. The value in doing so will give you the opportunity be honest with yourself in deciding whether maintaining your blind spots are serving you well or not. I should know. I took the deeper dive over a decade ago and it was painful learning mine were not. To this day, it’s a daily discipline to keep the shadow side of my blind spots at bay. The good news is, unfortunately we all have them, so we’re in this together!
And, what’s more, once you are conscious of them, you can create more effective and satisfying relationships by reducing them. How would you even you know if your blindspots may be hurting you or another? Start with accepting the premise that “you don’t even know what you don’t know.” This view will place you in a position of curiosity, humility and open mindedness and creates a “growth mindset”. On the flip side, the fastest way to maintain your blindspots is be a stubborn “know it all”. (If you are laughing right now, that’s a good sign!). This view will place you in a position of defensiveness, resistance and close – mindedness and creates a “fixed mindset”.
Why do we have blindspots as humans? I’ve found that most individuals rely on denial as a coping mechanism for protection from “feeling painful feelings”. You have to really want to look inward to learn and grow. When you’re unwilling to see how your blind spots may negatively affect others, a common coping mechanism is to play the blame game. Looking at “your part” requires a desire to change your mindset and behavior. And remember, “if you are pointing one finger out, there are 3 fingers pointing back at you”.
Below are 4 success strategies I use with my coaching clients for identifying their blindspots:
- Request a 360 degree feedback process in your work setting. This process allows you to gain insight into your areas of strengths and weaknesses by gathering data from those you trust and know you well. It’s also useful to ask for feedforward which includes suggestions for creating new positive behaviors in the future. The 360 degree methodology has been widely used in organizations for decades for improving one’s performance. If you don’t have access to this process, then survey about 10 people closest to you that you’d be comfortable asking for honest feedback in the areas you want to learn more about. As a bonus, if you have a life partner, they are usually happy to tell you the truth!
- Stop the blame game. Notice your “language” throughout the day and if you catch yourself saying “you did this”…….( fill in the blank), you’re blaming someone else for the problem. Use “I” statements vs. “you” statements. “I” statements keep the focus on yourself. You statements puts the other person on the defensive and keeps you from being accountable for your own behavior. Another red flag is when you catch yourself being self – righteous and making the other person wrong – if you do this, assume you’re operating with a blind spot that’s blocking you from seeing a situation objectively from another’s perspective.
- Take a free Enneagram Test. The enneagram is a personality system that aims to reveal how emotions drive our lives and how we engage with others in an effort to get what want and need. The Enneagram defines 9 personality types, each with it’s own set of strengths or super powers, and weaknesses which include clearly identified blind spots and specific suggestions to help you grow. This test is surprisingly accurate while it illuminates what motivates you on a deeper level.
- Slow down and be still! Most individuals drown themselves with busyness and overactivity that can be excessive and numbing. This further adds to living life unconsciously and keeping your blind spots hidden. Being still requires being willing to face the discomfort of uncomfortable feelings like hurt, anger, sadness, loneliness, jealousy, agitation, irritation, shame, or frustration – about a given situation. Once you allow your feelings to surface, you have a better chance of identifying your blind spots that are covering up negative thinking patterns.
30 Day Power Challenge
Take the Enneagram Test and examine your results thoroughly. At the end of the report, you’ll see several suggestions for adopting new healthy behaviors and eliminating ones that no longer serve you. Select one new desired behavior and apply practice it as a daily discipline as best you can. Keep a record of your daily successes and setbacks.
Power Resources and Tools
- Take the Enneagram Personality Test
- Read “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” by Marshall Goldsmith – formerly the #1 Executive Coach in the World
- Educate yourself on the Johari Window Model
You will learn the secrets of how some of the world’s top thought leaders make a positive difference by owning their uniqueness.
I want to hear from you. Send me an email and please let me know how you did with this month’s challenge and the power resources and tools. You can also connect with me via my website: firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about how my services can benefit you and set up a complimentary discovery call with me.
Are you ready to take action and be accountable for your desired results?
Do you want challenge yourself to grow professionally and personally? If your answer is YES to both for creating sustainable change, then contact Nancy to learn more about the steps for getting there.
Nancy Friedberg, M.A.
Master Coach and President, Career Leverage, Inc.
Marshall Goldsmith Certified Stakeholder Centered Coach
Certified Now What? Facilitator