A Guide To Recognizing And Overcoming Leadership Blind Spots
You’re probably aware of some of your leadership weaknesses. For example, you may know you tend to be indecisive or set unrealistic expectations for your team. However, it’s the weaknesses you don’t know about — the blind spots — that can be damaging.
What can you do to resolve these blind spots? According to a post on the NOBL Academy blog, you should regularly create opportunities to learn and change your behavior. In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we highlight some guidance from the post.
Pay attention. The post suggests widening your scope and looking for what you may be missing. You can do this by talking to people you don’t usually interact with. These could be different stakeholders, colleagues or employees.
Regulate your emotions. You may feel a range of different emotions based on your conversations with different people. According to the post, these emotional responses may be “hot cognition,” which may lead to lashing out, or “cold cognition,” which can lead to suppressing emotions. The goal is to seek balanced cognition.
Don’t get defensive. If someone gives you feedback that’s hard to hear or shares an opinion that contradicts yours, you may get defensive. To depersonalize the feedback, remember that setbacks and failures are just another part of learning, the post says.
Listen and then act. It requires a healthy dose of humility to overcome your leadership blind spots. Listen to others and take time to reflect on what you learn. However, the post points out that you’ll rarely be able to make a decision knowing every possible factor, so don’t procrastinate. It can sometimes be best to act and then use feedback to iterate.
Accept tension. You may want to resolve conflict or discomfort quickly at work, but that might not be the best choice. Instead, explore the tension. What is the reason for the conflict? Think through all the possible solutions, and don’t be afraid to explore different resolutions.
Recognize conflicting motivations. Individuals are bundles of competing motivations, values, desires and emotions, the post says. A proposed change might get us closer to one goal (such as a promotion) while causing distress in another area (having to learn new skills). Before making a decision, think through your choices and be sure you’re living up to your ideals.
Most of us have blind spots in the workplace, and most of us could benefit from greater self-awareness. When you work to overcome these weaknesses, you just might turn them into strengths.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: The NOBL Academy blog. NOBL Collective is a change management consulting firm.