Leading Change Series: Blind Spots

Blind Spots.

Blind Spots. We all have them. They are those things in our behaviour that others can observe in us, but of which we are unaware, including their impact. As others observe our behaviour, they usually scoot up their ‘ladders of inference’ to reach all sorts of conclusions about who we are – our intentions, values, preferences and life story. Because of these conclusions, we can then start to behave in certain ways towards others (which, ironically, can reinforce the blind spot). When we are trying to change, but our blind spots emerge, we can become defensive in the face of feedback. We can easily get drawn into ‘data debates’ rather than hearing that the problems or challenges may be about how we are behaving and not the facts, as such. We may also project a substantial façade, which can make others feel unsafe with us. When others see issues that we will not acknowledge or talk about, it can seem to them that there may be repercussions in raising the issue and/or saying anything. In the end, continuing with this behaviour robs us of ideas, energy and goodwill. Finding the space and willingness to hear and respond appropriately to feedback, without becoming defensive, is a gem.