Practical Advice to Deal with a Blind Spot and Make it Work For You
How do you become aware of a blind spot in your leadership? After all, that’s the point of a blind spot, right?
In today’s #AskingForaFriend, I bring you an interview with Mike Maddock, serial entrepreneur, and best-selling author of several books including Plan D. He talks about why you should care about your blind spot and understand your “ghosts” and practical ways to get other perspectives. Here’s his advice for uncovering a blind spot and putting that information to make you stronger.
Making Your Blind Spot Work for You
Mike offers some great advice on getting real and getting better.
1. Embrace Diverse Perspectives
Surround yourself with individuals who see the world differently. To identify a blind spot, you need peers who challenge your thinking and are not afraid to question your assumptions.
2. Recognize the Value of Differences
Utilize personality assessments like Myers-Briggs, Kolbe, or Strength Finders to better understand the unique perspectives each person brings to the table. Embrace the idea that diverse cognitive styles, such as those of the operator, strategist, rainmaker, visionary, tech futurist, and orchestrator, are all crucial for a balanced and effective team. Understand which type you are and actively seek out and honor the different types within your circle.
Side note: I believe in this SO MUCH. This is the magic behind Let’s Grow Leaders (our mission and our partnership). You can find more about our backstory here.
3. Construct a Balanced Team
Ensure you have a mix of at least four different types to cover various approaches to leadership and problem-solving. This will help you see situations from multiple angles and prevent groupthink.
4. Identify and Engage with Your “Ghosts” (drivers behind your motivation)
“In my experience, I’ve never met a successful leader who was not chasing a ghost or being chased by one.”
Okay, that’s the line that made me think about my motivations.
Awareness is key when it comes to a blind spot. Once you know what you’re chasing and why you can make better choices and plans.
Consider the concept “ghosts.” These drivers of your motivation.
These could stem from past experiences, influential figures, or deep-seated desires to prove oneself. Identifying your ‘ghosts’ can reveal unrecognized motivations that may be shaping your decisions and actions.
Once you’re aware of your ‘ghosts,’ reflect on whether they are driving you positively or causing destructive behaviors. Self-awareness is key in distinguishing between the two.
Create specific, measurable goals (KPIs) that align with turning your ‘ghosts’ into constructive forces. If a ‘ghost’ is related to a desire to meet a parental expectation, for instance, establish KPIs around achievements that would resonate with that relationship, but ensure they are healthy and positive for your personal and professional growth.
Approach overcoming your blind spots and dealing with your ‘ghosts’ as a game. This perspective can make the process less daunting and more engaging. When you gamify the challenge, it can become fun and more manageable.
5. Seek Constructive Feedback
Regularly engage in conversations with mentors, peers, and your team about blind spots and ‘ghosts.’ Ask them who or what they are fighting against or for, and how it affects their leadership and decisions. This dialogue can prompt deeper self-reflection and more comprehensive personal development.
Available for Pre-Order Now
Our new book, Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Workplace Conflict: What to Say Next to Destress the Workday, Build Collaboration, and Calm Difficult Customers, is AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW, and we’re working on building our speaking tour for Spring 2024 (you can take a quick peek at some of our new conflict and collaboration programs here).