Seven Steps to See and Solve Blindspots

Blindspots let you blame others for your shortcomings and feel superior while doing it.

5 common leadership blindspots:

  1. Evaluating yourself as a good listener, even though you can’t wait for others to stop talking. The discipline of listening is seldom achieved. It’s likely you’re more enamored with your voice than anyone else.
  2. Overvaluing your strengths while highlighting the weaknesses and faults of others.
  3. Overestimating the value you bring while undervaluing the potential of others.
  4. Believing you understand others, even though you ask few questions and make many judgments.
  5. Falling in love with yours solutions while criticizing the suggestions of others. You think it’s problem-solving. Your team thinks you’re defending your viewpoint while nitpicking theirs.

The worst blindness is seeing your blindspots and excusing them.

7 steps to see and solve blindspots:

#1. Admit you have blindspots, even if you don’t see them. Just say it, “I have blindspots.”

#2. Declare your intentions and ask specific questions. “I’m working to energize the team. What am I doing that drains energy? What am I doing that fuels the team’s energy?” But don’t stop there.

#3. Dig for honest feedback. First responses to feedback questions are comfortable and marginally helpful.

Be kind, patient, and persistent, but go beyond shallow first answers. Say, “And what else?” Real feedback starts on the second or third response. 

Try:

  1. “Thank you. What else comes to mind?”
  2. “I appreciate your feedback. I wonder if you have anything to add?”
  3. “Development is important to me. Your feedback is helpful.

Tip: Count silently to six after asking a question.

#4. Resist the urge to disagree. Stop making self-serving excuses. There’s an element of truth in all sincere feedback, even when it seems off base.

#5. Ask for suggestions. “How might I energize the team?” for example.

#6. Develop a simple action plan that you can execute daily. Make it easy and observable.

#7. Set up a follow-up meeting.

What are some common leadership blindspots?

How might leaders see and solve blindspots?