My Blind Spots. Your Problem?

In middle school I recall participating in a chant and stunt with a group of my classmates during recess. We’d lock arms, close our eyes and march through the playground chanting: “I can’t see. I can’t see. If I knock you down, don’t you blame it on me, because I can’t see.” We’d walk over anyone who did not move out of our way. After all, it was their problem, because “I can’t see”.

Back then, and in that example, others paid the price for our literal “blind spots”. In personal development, a blind spot is an aspect of our behavior that we are not fully aware of. Although the example provided is a middle school experience, many of us unwittingly operate the same in the work environment. Of course we don’t march down the office corridors chanting and physically knocking people over, however the results of our blind spots in the workplace are impactful. We “can’t see“, our blind spots. As result, those around us suffer. However, we suffer as well.

As a personal example, I recall being a new supervisor. My focus was primarily on achieving results. My “style” was fast-paced, result-oriented and let’s get it done! My blind spot was a need to focus and connect more with the people who achieved the results for me, in a way that THEY needed to be connected with. As a result of my blind spot, I can painfully recall my high turn-over rate as members of my team were leaving with no warning (at least that I picked up on).

This experience drove me to step back and better understand what was happening around me. What was I missing? Why were my team members leaving? To answer those questions, I initiated one on one and group feedback sessions. I began to understand the view from my team. I learned from their feedback, that they saw me as all about the results and in their opinion, I did not really care about them. They also shared that they did not know much about me personally. They only saw me as the “boss”. While I understood their experience, this was far from my true feelings. I did care about my team. I was so focused on results, I did not see that I was being read in a way that did not reflect who I was and how I expected to be perceived.

Many years later after learning about the DISC behavioral profiling system, I recognized that my experience was a case of not recognizing and understanding my “style” and the “style” of others. At that time in my career I was a classic DISC “D” style (fast-paced, result-oriented, let’s get it done). Had I been educated on my DISC style prior to that career experience, I would have known my blind spots and avoided the consequences. Understanding my blind spots would have allowed me to be more effective as a new leader; resulting in a more engaged team while also achieving results.

So, what are your blind spots and how are you paying a price that could be avoided? Let me help you figure it out.

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