The Power of Y.O.U. and Overcoming Your Personal Blind Spots: Part 3 of 3
Power Quote of the Month
“One is often unconsciously surrounded by one’s own personal reality” ~ Pawan Mishra
This is part 3 of a 3 part series on how to overcome your blind spots with a one year plan.
In my first 2 articles of this series The Power of Y.O.U. and Identifying Your Blind Spots: Part 1 of 3, The Power of Y.O.U. and Accepting Your Blind Spots: Part 2 of 3 , I offered tools and strategies for identifying and accepting your blind spots. In this last article, I offer a process for overcoming the blind spots that may be hindering your ability in developing a healthier relationship with yourself and others. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be willing to cultivate the courage, humility and discipline for doing so.
As a Leadership and Career Coach, I’m in the business of helping my clients gather and assess data that is self generated and solicited from others with the goal of becoming an even better version of themselves. The fun part of my job is using this data for empowering others to leverage their best strengths for making a positive impact. The more challenging part of my job is in delivering sensitive and honest feedback with the goal of helping my clients eliminate personal blind spots and replace ineffective behaviors with effective ones.
Since I started writing this series, I’ve become even more fascinated with the process of truly identifying and accepting my own personal blind spots and the blinds spots in others that are hidden from view. What I’ve found is that most humans will criticize in others that very trait they possess themselves. So pay attention to what you complain about regularly. It may be an excellent clue to your hidden blind spot. You may actually see the hypocrisy and double standards of your own behavior. This can serve as a way to right size your ego and cultivate humility – all key precursors for change!
As my client Judy discussed in the last article, she had no idea her behavior was perceived as controlling and that others felt stifled working with her. Her high standards came across as intimidating and perfectionistic. No one felt it was ok to take initiative, ask for help or make a mistake. She discovered her management style was the result of her need to be overly self-reliant, independent, and responsible from a very young age. It was a survival skill that she actually found led to her success. Until it didn’t. Now she learned it was getting in her way and she had reached a level of burnout that stopped her dead in her tracks. This was her wake up call.
She shared that she never considered the benefits of letting go and giving others a chance to step up. In fact, she learned from her stakeholders input that her blind spot of micromanaging was hindering their growth. They suggested that she meet with them to delegate responsibilities and establish clear expectations for the week, set a due date for completion, and then follow up each week to provide them with feedback on the quality of their work. They promised to let her know if they saw a change and felt empowered to work more independently. She became ready to bear the discomfort of overcoming her blind spot but and not leaning into old behavior.
It worked. Six months later her team was thriving. Two employees received promotions. Another employee was on a path for an internal transfer to another department to expand her skills set. Judy’s team results increased. Judy also started relieving her stress at the office by working out 3 times a week and leaving the office at a reasonable hour.
So what about you? Are you ready and motivated to overcome your blind spot(s) and enlist the support to do so?
To help you get started, below are Power Resources and Tools that cover the detrimental behaviors that hold leaders and individuals back with developmental ideas for improvement. These behaviors were identified through years of research by the world’s most renowned leadership experts and Executive Coaches, Marshall Goldsmith and Sally Helgelsen. Identifying with some of these bad habits may help you feel less alone. It also provides an opportunity to admit your faults more readily which is a great motivator to overcoming them.
Here’s a few examples of the 32 bad habits identified:
- The need to be right
- Telling the world how smart you are
- Adding too much value
- Making excuses
- Passing judgment
- Clinging to the past
- The disease to please
- The perfection trap
- Making destructive comments
- Refusing to express regret
- Not listening
Now here’s the process you can use to overcome your personal blind spots. It’s called “stakeholder centered coaching” and it was developed by Marshall Goldsmith.
Here’s the 2 part process.
The premise is simple. First, ask the significant others in your work life (or personal life) for their feedback on what’s holding you back. Then ask for their suggestions on how to improve your behavior in the future. This is called feedforward. Invite them into your process and show a sincere desire to want to become even better. Thank them for their honesty. Reflect on their suggestions. Select those suggestions that make sense to you and commit to applying them. Take full responsibility for your results by letting your stakeholders know which suggestions you plan to start applying in your daily interactions with them and others.
The second part is the real test of change. In order to keep yourself honest and the old blind spots at bay, you need to measure your improvement. The key element that makes the stakeholder centered coaching process so powerful and effective is having your stakeholders rate your improvement, not you. If their perception and experience in interacting with you improves, you’re on the road to increasing your effectiveness. Once a month you are required to do a quick check in with each stakeholder. You state the 1 or 2 new behaviors you’ve committed to eliminating along with new behaviors you plan to adopt. Ask for their evaluation on how you are doing based on their “real time” interactions with you. Do this each month for a year and measure how far you’ve come.
I conduct these coaching services with a wide array of clients. In partnership and collaboration, we can do anything!
30 Day Power Challenge
- Identify your list of 7 to 10 people from whom you can gather feedback and suggestions for eliminating your blind spots. Select people that will be honest, constructive and supportive.
- If you are doing this process to improve your relationships at work, create a list of stakeholders comprised of your Superiors, Peers, Subordinates, Mentors and/or Clients. Follow the stakeholder centered coaching process as outlined above for 30 days. Repeat each month for one year.
- If you are doing this process to improve your personal relationships, create a list of 7 to 10 individuals who are central to your life including any family members that are relevant, spouses/partners, good friends, coaches and mentors or any others. Follow the process above.
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 email: email@example.com to learn 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