Before heading off to camp this morning, my daughter turned to me and said, “Let’s have a good dynamic (or avira in Hebrew) today.”
It blew me away, particularly because my daughter was pointing directly to my blindspot.
I admit that we sometimes have a messy dynamic. With 40+ years between us, I usually chalk it up to the fact that she is a child and will one day learn to control her impulses.
The reality is that her need for attention overwhelms me sometimes and is often met with my impatience.
I am blind to the way I may come across. How my tone, body language and speech impact her and our relationship.
We all have blind spots in the relationships that we care about and it sometimes takes someone else to point it out.
It is true in our role as leaders of our families, organizations, and businesses alike.
How do we overcome our blindspots?
Tasha Eurich in her book, Insight: the Power of Self-Awareness in a Self-Deluded World, says that we first need to become self-aware. She defines self-awareness as both how clearly we see and understand ourselves (our values, aspirations, and reactions) and how other people view us.
Eurich explains that our self-awareness is not a pie-in-the-sky concept but an imperative in both our personal and professional lives. The upward limit of our success in any endeavor is capped by our degree of self-awareness.
- When we feel like we excel at our own work but we withhold helpful information from colleagues, we will be seen as selfish. That is a self-awareness gap.
When we send emails at 1am because we are so committed to our work and get annoyed that our team members don’t do the same, we will come across as someone who doesn’t respect boundaries. That is a self-awareness gap.
When we are leading a team and think we are doing a great job but yell at the slightest provocation, we will be seen as a bully. That is a self-awareness gap.
How can we become more self-aware and move out of our blindspots?
Eurich suggests three things:
1. Shift your mindset and make the decision that you want to know the truth (others often see us a lot more clearly than we see ourselves).
2. Ask for feedback (and be open to hearing it).
3. Ask “what” more often than “why.” E.g. What can I do to motivate my team? Not, Why are they not performing to the standards that I set?
When we can become more aware of our blindspots by inviting feedback, and checking in with others about how we are coming across, we can invite in more open communication, productivity, and growth.
Blessings for the journey,