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                                                                                 - Roberta Prescott


 

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NEWSLETTERS


"Know Your Blind Spots"
By Roberta Prescott

"Good leaders know themselves"
Rudy Giuliani

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?

YOUR PRESENCE

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 influence decisions
  • When brainstorming ideas outside of your field of expertise
  • Do you present yourself with poise, authority and polish?
  • 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 in details?

  • 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

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© The Prescott Group
11 Tunxis Avenue, Bloomfield, CT 06002       
Tel: (860) 242-9299   Fax: (860)243-2567
www.theprescottgroup.com