Four Ways To Identify And Improve Blind Spots And Weaknesses – Forbes

Posted: October 10, 2019 at 7:44 pm


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Blind spots impact every leader, and they can become costly when they are not identified or improved. They could sabotage a leader's impact and cause followers to question the direction that the leader is taking the team.

The best leaders work on overcoming their blind spots.

My business partner and I have examined leaders and organizations to discern what blind spots are and what leaders can do about them. Together, we have concluded that there is a difference between blind spots and weaknesses.

People usually think they're unaware of their blind spots because blind spots are outside their view. But just because a pilot can't see something, doesn't mean they know for sure it's not there. On the other hand, people usually think they have a good grasp on what their weaknesses are, but I would challenge that they don't have any idea at all.

The best leaders have a sense of what their blind spots are, just like a pilot. They can't see them, but they could if they pivoted. A weakness is something leaders don't know exists, and it requires someone else pointing it out.

A leader's goal should be to never let a blind spot become a weakness if they want to have lasting success and create powerful breakthroughs, but both blind spots and weaknesses can be identified in several ways:

1. Take assessments and tools to understand your strengths and weaknesses.

Only the leaders who know how they work can work most effectively.

There are many different types of assessments that a leader can take to help them discover their blind spots, strengths, weaknesses and understand themselves better. Strengthsfinder and DISC are two popular ones. Assessments should be reviewed and relied on consistently to show a leader how they operate and work best.

Every leader is unique, and a leader's uniqueness can also prove to be their strength when they handle their weaknesses properly. Leaders shouldn't ignore their weaknesses but rather admit them to their team then ask for their support in areas where that leader is weak. Every leader needs a team around them to help them perform at their peak.

2. Listen to a trusted advisor, and ask them to be a mirror for your behavior and your choices.

Trusted advisors or business coaches can help a leader see themselves more accurately. An independent third party who is non-emotional can speak honestly and strategically to the leader about what they are perceiving and what they are hearing from the team. Leaders can also ask this trusted advisor to interview their staff and make conclusions based on what multiple people in the organization say about how the leader leads.

3. Get your team's feedback on your leadership behaviors and decisions.

Leaders inspire their teams to improve, but teams can also inspire their leader to improve. When a leader asks their team how well they are leading, they show the team their intent to improve their leadership skills and interactions.

Many leaders are afraid to ask their team for feedback, yet a leader's team can be the best tool to identify their own blind spots. Leadership assessments such as 360s can be helpful in illustrating the team's perception of their leader. Additionally, together, both the leader and their team can explore and develop a strategy for improvement.

When a leader practices humility and seeks to improve themselves, they will find that they model self-improvement throughout the entire organization.

4. Ask a friend to tell you the truth about yourself.

There is a proverb that states: "Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy." People who care about the leader are more willing to be honest with them. They can often see their actual abilities, strengths and weaknesses. This often includes the leaders' spouse and children.

Leaders can ask personal friends what they see in their behaviors and even ask what recommendations they might suggest for improving their leadership skills. One technique a leader can use is to prepare a series of questions to ask their personal friends and family that can lead to honest, one-on-one conversations. Questions could include:

1. How do I handle mistakes?

2. What is my biggest leadership flaw?

3. How do I treat my team?

4. What change could I make to improve my leadership effectiveness?

Every leader needs to embrace that they have blind spots, but blind spots do not need to stop the leader from moving their team and their organization forward. Blind spots can help the leader know where to add to their team and thus improve themselves and their organization.

Original post:
Four Ways To Identify And Improve Blind Spots And Weaknesses - Forbes

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October 10th, 2019 at 7:44 pm

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