Blind spots. We all have them, some more than others. You know what they are – those areas that we don’t realize we are impacting others in an unintended way, but everyone else knows about them. They are so easy to spot in other people – the individual that thinks they are a great communicator, but everyone is frustrated with how much they lack the ability to communicate; or the individual that states they aren’t a perfectionist after they nitpick everything in a report you sent them; or the person that jumps in, constantly interrupting you to finish your sentences, as they are boasting about what a good listener they are. Here’s the scary part though – we have them as well, others know about them, but we are blind to them – which is why they are called blind spots. We don’t want to fall victim to the Dunning-Kruger Effect right? That’s where the least competent people tend to be the most confident in their abilities.
So how do we become more aware of our blind spots? Well, let’s first define three areas where we can have a pretty big blind spot. These were identified by Dr. Tasha Eurich in her book, Insight. They are:
Knowledge Blindness: This is when we have a general belief about our abilities and we apply it to a specific situation. Such as, “I’m good at math, so I’d be a good analyst or researcher.” Or “I’m good at being innovative so I’d be a good entrepreneur.”
Emotion Blindness: This is when we think we are very carefully and logically deciding, but ultimately, it is our “gut” or intuition that makes the decision.
Behavior Blindness: This is the inability to see our own behavior as clearly and objectively as others can see it. For example, giving a presentation and thinking you bombed it when it was very well received by the audience. Or the opposite – thinking you aced a job interview when you really did a poor job.
Regardless of which areas our blind spots fall in, there are some strategies for becoming more aware of them. Again, these are from the research conducted by Dr. Eurich and her team.
There you have it folks – different ways we can be blind to our impact on others and strategies for putting the spot light on those blind spots. This takes courage AND I know you can do it!