Daily Quote and Reflection: ”Oh, what a great gift we would have if we could only see ourselves as others see us .” – Robert Burns
Reflection: How other people see us impacts our identity and sense of worth. Some people may see you as a “softie” because of your hypersensitivity to any comments that you perceive as criticism. This leads to less feedback and others avoiding being straight with you. Others may see you as impulsive and explosive, to quick to react in difficult or complex situations and so you are left with little information when trying to resolve key personnel or investment issues. Also, some withhold feedback because you are seen as to strong, rude or very opinionated; not getting feedback in these situations leaves you with many “blinspots” and an inaccurate picture of what your strengths are or how you might be overusing them.
This blind area is not an effective or productive space for individuals or groups. This blind area could also be referred to as ignorance about oneself, or an ineffective way to delude yourself . A blind area could also include issues that others are deliberately withholding from a person. We all know how difficult it is to work well when kept in the dark. No-one works well when being subject to ‘mushroom management’. People who are ‘thick-skinned’ tend to have a large ‘blindspots.
Self-Coaching Challenge: To reduce the blind spots that may de-rail your career or interpersonal relationships you need to seek more input and information from others. To do this you need to model and support more listening and less judgmental feedback. Modeling openness and support for more individual disclosure, reduces fear and therefore encourages honest feedback to flourish. The extent to which an individual seeks feedback, and the issues on which feedback is sought, must always be at the individual’s own discretion. Some people are more resilient than others – care needs to be taken to avoid causing emotional upset. The process of soliciting serious and deep feedback relates to the process of ‘self-development and growth as a leader.
If you are committed to seek more feedback the question becomes– how do you go about getting it?
Sometimes people describe blind spots as perception disconnects – when the people around us don’t perceive our words and behaviors in the way we intended. We might believe that our calm, composed demeanor is a serious advantage in a high-stress workplace. Unfortunately, our co-workers perceive us as robotic and uncaring. Our goal might be to appear decisive and candid, but others actually think we’re abrupt and insensitive. Are we energetic and driven? Or relentless and annoying? Are we methodical and systematic? Or inflexible and overly cautious? Sometimes there’s a very fine line there. But, at the end of the day, perceptions trump intentions. Despite our goals and the impressions we intend to make, our business success is determined by our reputations and the perceptions of us held by others.
Over the next three weeks take time to inform others that you want more feedback. Ask a close associate to observe and provide feedback on your blind spots– Be careful to be concrete in your request–by saying something like this– during the next few staffing meetings would you mind observing and documenting my ability and manner of listening or not with team members and after the meeting we can talk about what worked, what didn’t work and how I might improve my listening skills.
Remember in trying to get feedback and uncover your blind spots you need to be supportive when this person provides their feedback feedback on areas for improvement. Good Luck and be sure and share with us how it your personal development goes.