4 Ways to Eliminate Success Blocking Blind Spots
Those who can’t see themselves feel isolated and alone.
Real relationships are built between real people.
7 reasons leaders have blind spots:
- The birds of a feather problem. You hang with people who think like you and agree with you.
- Credit bias. You give yourself credit for success and blame others for failure.
- Illusion of superiority. You over-value your strengths and ignore your weaknesses. You’re just awesome!
- Comparing down. You compare yourself with those who are less skilled, successful, or talented in order to build yourself up.
- Intention over behavior. You judge yourself by your intentions – you always mean well. Others judge you by your behaviors. You look disinterested, disconnected, or disgruntled.
- Competence transference. You feel that competence in one area makes you competent in many areas. This happens when those who can do something well falsely believe they can manage people doing the same thing.
- Self-rejection. Proud people use blind spots to hide from their frailties and protect their egos.
Connections deepen after blind spots are embraced.
4 ways to see blind spots:
- Validate the perception of others. Their perceptions are real perceptions.
- Believe troubling feedback. When someone says you seem angry, believe it. Say, “Thanks for letting me know.”
- Explore awkward feedback. Ask, “What am I doing that makes me seem angry?”
- Invite feedback from trusted friends and colleagues.
Enhance success by seeing yourself the way others see you.
4 reasons seeing blind spots makes a difference:
- Blind spots create barriers in relationships that limit influence.
- You can’t engage in real relationships when you don’t see the real you.
- Blind spots undermine potential. The same issues keep coming up and you won’t take responsibility.
- The more authentic you become the stronger people connect with you. Connections are counterfeit when you present a counterfeit self.
Authentic relationships are built between authentic people.
How have you seen blind spots hinder leaders?
How might we more clearly see our blind spots?
When injustice happens in my own life, to someone I know and love, and also in the world… you can COUNT on me to feel angry about it and as an adult, to find a way to express that anger. (grins)
Good post Dan.
Naturally, it’s EASIER for all of us to see the glaring problems in leaders around us. Not so easy to see it in ourselves. Thank goodness for children…they don’t let me get away with thinking of myself too highly then I ought to be at least not for very long! haha
It’s humbling for sure. Yet we NEED that feedback.
Granted, none of can handle constant criticism. Yet if we aren’t taken care of a problem that has been brought to our attention…if we ignore it and our behaviors keep having a negative impact on those around us, then leaders can easily go into denial. Leaders can decide…that person or group is being too negative so I’ll consider them toxic and disregard them.
Well maybe ‘they’ aren’t toxic at all! Maybe that leader is!
And that’s the task we all have. We have to know when we need to take feedback seriously and when to take it with a grain of salt. And this is why building good strong honest relationships with people from various walks of life MATTERS.
It has the power to keep us REAL.
Thanks for sharing Dan.
Thanks Samantha. Yes we need feedback. What a powerful sentence.
The interjection of the term denial in your comment illustrates one aspect of blind spots. Blind spots may be denial. Perhaps the strong negative reaction we have toward some feedback indicates a point of denial.
People naturally engage in confirmation bias, engaging and heeding only those that agree with them. It’s a serious limitation.
As for needing to feel superior, correct, and all of those ego builders……leaders must get past bringing their egos to work. Check your ego at the office door. The goal is success and that goal feeds everyone. We can all celebrate success but not if we spend valuable time navigating fragile egos and the struggle to overcome the worthlessness so many feel deep down in their dark and insecure psyche. C’mon, people are hired because they are talented, so let’s all just get on with it and focus on our organization goals and developing a comfortable and productive organization culture.
Thanks Mr. Rockwell, for such a thoughtful post.
Blind spots usually I name as gray areas of our life,
We quite often tend to look at mistakes, ignorance, weaknesses, limits, potential capabilities of others. Very easily we overlook the same in our selves.
Those are the things, Thats the time to improve and move further.
Thank you for the deep insightful thoughts.
Truth telling – and listening to, can be more easily received if one remembers the words of the song by Paul Simon… you don’t have to lie to me; just give me some tenderness, beneath your honesty… As leaders, we have to remember, and hopefully receive truth-telling, with ‘tenderness’.
I think anyone that is passionate about judging others and forcing them to change their lifestyle choice (e.g. Stopping gay marriage) is choc-full of blind spots. Pointing the finger at others is the only way they can live with the hidden self-hatred.
When one realises his thoughts and the direction of his life as a whole he starts planning and pushing along with lots of prayers and patience to put upto his dreams and goals and in between that worthwhile distance he experiences the lots of pain and pleasures….
Thinking you are flawless is the fast track to failure. This post really hit home with me because it helped me to focus on my own blind spots. Intention is very different from result, effort, or outcome. Being honest I think that sometimes I result to justifying myself by hanging my hat on intentions to make me feel better when outcomes are less than optimal. Being able to take a long hard look at your self and your leadership is critical. Thank you for this. Time for some self evaluation and reflection. Very timely and appreciated.
Nobody is perfect … we all have flaws. Are my flaws worse than yours? Perhaps … but I doubt it. I put myself under the microscope for years and exposed, what I thought, were all my blind spots. It was empowering to a point. However, if you are the only one trying to move forward by making yourself vulnerable by exposing your blind spots, beware of those around you not making the same effort. They will use your self-admitted blind spots against you.
When showing your blind spots on a team, the entire team MUST be equally open in exposing their blind spots. You have to mitigate the possibility that somebody may use your open honest nature against you.
The blind spot may be with the wagon puller. But it can simply be caused by the reality that he or she may know where they are going.
The real blind spot, based on all sorts of research into what employees think or know, is found at the BACK of the wagon, where all they see of the vision is “boards and hands” and nothing of the goals and countryside.
And, the reality is that there are a lot more wagon pushers than wagon pullers. Leadership needs to remember that and stop being isolated (as in your bullets above) and go out and MBWA a bit to get a different view of reality.
Have FUN out there!