"Know Your Blind Spots"
By Roberta Prescott
leaders know themselves"
You are a rising star who has already achieved significant professional
goals. Yet even highly successful people often have blind spots that,
if left unchecked, will cause them trouble at some point in their
career. These blind spots eventually matter, and if you lack insight
about them they can stall, or even derail your career.
To further complicate the matter, behaviors and communication styles
that worked in one team or at one level of your organization may
become a weakness in another situation.
Two important observations:
- Perception rules. What matters is not
the message you think you're giving. What matters is the impact
that your words and actions have upon others.
- Awareness is the first step
toward change, and self-awareness leads to self-improvement.
Many of the calls we receive in our Executive Coaching practice
are from clients who want constructive feedback and advice on how
to address their blind spots before they become baggage that can
outweigh their strengths. Do any of their issues fit you?
Do you have political acumen? Do you understand the priorities /
pressures / styles and relationships of your manager?
Do you need a boost in confidence --
- When throwing your oar in to
- When brainstorming ideas outside of your field
- Do you present yourself with poise, authority and
- Are you so low key you’re invisible?
- Can you build relationships
and connect with others?
YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS
Can you boil a technical issue down, or
are you mired
- Do you take too long to get to the point?
- Do you go off on tangents?
- Is your delivery crisp and interesting?
- Do you get flustered
if you don’t have all the answers?
- Can you gauge the needs
and interests of a high level audience?
- Do you notice when you’ve
lost your audience?
THE WAY YOU CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS
- Do you get defensive when challenged?
- Are you high maintenance – always
needing to hear that you’re doing a good job?
- Are you curt
/ put people on the defensive?
- Do others need to wait for you
to vent before they can have a conversation with you?
- Does your
body language tell us too much? (Do you look upset / wounded /
disengaged / bored?)
YOUR INTERPERSONAL STYLE
- Do you continue to fight a battle after
the war is over?
- Do you contribute recommendations and solutions, or just problems?
- Do you know when to say things and when to listen instead?
- Do you sit back and listen too much without giving an opinion?
- Do you operate as though everyone can read your mind?
- Is your
style abrasive / arrogant / dictatorial?
- Can you lighten up?
Looking at yourself with a critical eye can be uncomfortable, but
when you become aware of your blind spots, you are 90% on your way
to correcting them. Your next growth steps are to be willing to make
changes, and then to take action. Ask for feedback from your manager
or get a coach who can help you build on your strengths and get you
back on track.
The Prescott Group