Go to homepage
Get a Demo
Get a Demo

Preview Mode: Access 20% of each content piece.

to get full access!


Identify and Avoid Blind Spots as a Leader

Apr 14, 2020 | 12m

Gain Actionable Insights Into:

  • Why acknowledging that it is normal to have blind spots is half the battle won
  • Understanding common blind spots that hinder most leaders
  • Simple ways to prevent blind spots from hampering your effectiveness as a leader

All Leaders Have Blind Spots

If you are currently a leader, you probably have succeeded in more than one role over the course of your career in order to attain your position today. There is no cookie-cutter recipe for the best leader because each person is different. You have a unique set of strengths that fuel your success, as well as weakness that hinder your growth. With every step you took towards success, people would have praised you for your strengths and rewarded you for your diligence and determination.

Due to human nature, repeated praise can lead to a swelling of your ego. The problem that comes with a big ego is that you’re less likely to be aware of your blind spots. But hey, you’re only human! And there is no such thing as a “perfect” leader. So, in order for you to be the most effective leader you can be, you must understand and accept your blind spots. In fact, you are more likely to have blind spots if you don’t accept that they exist.

Many people do not want to accept that they are flawed. If you think you are a good leader, then you probably don’t think that you have flaws. It seems contradictory to believe that you are a good leader and you have flaws. This view itself is a blind spot. You are most likely to have blind spots in areas where you think you succeed.

For me, I rate myself quite highly on trustworthiness, approachability, and the ability to add value to the lives of others outside of the work culture. When I received feedback from others, they said that I came across as preachy and presented myself with a holier-than-thou vibe. Now that I know about this blind spot, I am more aware of it. I don’t take myself too seriously and joke about it with my team.

This is also an example of one of the most common blind spots. While you are fully aware and craft the intent of what you do, you may be blind to the impact that your action has on the receiving person. Most of us rate what we do based on our intent. The problem is, you are the only one who is aware of your intent. In your mind, your intent is always noble. But the impact of your action on others and how they perceive what you do may be strikingly different.

Intent Versus Impact

Leaders tend to confuse our noble intent with the reality of the impact on others. We automatically assume that people should have the same opinion and perception of what we do. And we are more likely to become defensive of our actions because our intent is noble.

My blind spot in the impact of my actions was evident during the appraisal discussions with my team. I focused primarily on what my team can do to improve. In my mind, I believed that the greatest value I could provide was to identify my team’s weaknesses and help them become better team players. But feedback from my team revealed that my intent to help them succeed came across as too much criticism.

Although my intent to help my team improve was noble and necessary, the team perceived my criticism to be overbearing. I focused too much of my attention on criticism and failed to encourage the team on areas where they were thriving.

I learned that people are more likely to absorb feedback if you first praise them for what they are doing well. When the majority the discussion is centered around areas to improve, people are less likely to absorb everything that you tell them. While my intent was to help people, it was perceived very differently, and it affected the effectiveness of my desired intent.

To keep reading this content, sign up for a free trial.

Get full access FREE for 30 days