By Joseph V Cavanaugh III December 29, 2015
Blind spots can be fatal when you pull in front of a car in your visual blind spot. Physical and visual blind spots are extremely important to address. I love the additional little corner mirror on the side view mirrors on our new Escape as it eliminates the visual blind spots when driving.
Have you ever had the experience of looking for something in a cabinet or on a counter top and just could not see it until someone points out, it is right in front of you. That happens to me more often than I would like to admit, but why does that happen? When I think about it, generally I was thinking it looked different than it actually does, I was looking for something that did not exist, at least not the way I envisioned it. With the correct information I could eliminate these blind spots.
There is another kind of blind spot that affects our careers, our relationships and so much more. Some people would prefer to not acknowledge these blind spots. They seem to take a “If I can’t see it how important could it be? I mean if it was important, then I would see it? Right?” Well the reality is we all have these blind spots, each of us has a unique set of blind spots and what we do not see is very important. The kind of blind spots I am talking about are not intentional nor are they a fault, they are part of our unique design. These blind spots exist because we have Strengths and Talents which cause us to focus on certain things and filter out, not see, other things.
As an example, my Strengths give me intense curiosity, a love of learning, creativity, the ability to write and speak in public. I love to think at the 35,000 ft. altitude, I see the big picture. But I have very low tolerance of routine, predictability and details. I miss details, I don’t see them and when I try to focus on details for any period of time it absolutely drains me. I also have a time blind spot, no matter how much I have tried, I have a terrible sense of time, or how much time a particular task might take. My strength’s neural patterns and my blind spot’s neural non-patterns represent the innate wiring in my brain. This explains my behavior but it does not excuse it.
Other blind spots some of us humans have: emotional ques, anticipating future problems, seeing current problems, certain patterns, relational conflicts, current opportunities, best solution, etc.
The good news, we can discover our blind spots! There are assessments, and coaching, 360 feedback opportunities, just asking someone who knows us, we tend to see other people’s blind spots easily. It all starts with admitting we have blind spots, then express the desire to discover them. Once you discover your blind spots you can determine just how important what you do not see is and you can develop strategies including complementary partnerships to help compensate for your blind spots.
For example, my strategy to deal with my blind spots with details and structure; I have known most of my adult life that I must partner with people who excel in details and structure. With my time issue I use my smartphone and my computer to remind me when I have an upcoming meeting, when I need to wrap up a current meeting, etc.
I have come to deeply appreciate blind spots. That may sound odd, but once we identify a blind spot, we are stronger for it, it gives us opportunity to build mutually beneficial relationships, it transforms a weakness and it creates more opportunities to use our strengths in more impacting ways.
Using a coach to help discover your blind spots can be a surprisingly enjoyable experience versus having others point out your blind spots can cause a defensive reaction, even ongoing denial.
Are you ready to find and to deal with your blind spots in 2016?
What blind spots have you discovered?