Leadership Blind Spots And How To Deal With Them
When things are going well, we all tend to accept things as they are and rejoice in the fact that we have got it right.
When things are not going so well, we focus all our energy on correcting things, putting them right and then watching to see if we have made the right decisions.
Nothing wrong in any of that, other than we are ignoring basic blind spots in our thinking and actions which, if corrected, will deliver better and more reliable systems and results.
See if you agree with the three classic blind spots that are described below:
- Thinking everyone is pushing in the right direction: are you aligned with everyone and is everyone aligned together in working towards a common goal? Effective leadership depends on such alignment and commonality to ensure that results are achieved. You need to slow down and secure buy-in from everyone involved towards your vision and goals, making sure that everyone involved can raise objections, question assumptions and question assumptions. The process of talking it out until all concerns are addressed is key in reaching alignment.
- Being a skilled and patient listener: we all barely listen to what is going on as we tend to just listen to our interior voice, confirming what we hold to be true. This is a big mistake as we also add judgements and distortions to what we hear, especially if this challenges our own perspective on matters. This just gets in the way of what we hear, which then means that highly valuable and relevant input from others is ignored. If we identify people in the team who are a bit of a challenge, and who are potentially disruptive, it is often worth listening to what they have to say as they present a whole different view, often containing observations that are highly relevant but not yet featuring in current thinking.
- Thinking somebody else is dealing with an issue or problem: chances are, they think you are dealing with it! Washing your hands of a matter gives you immediate relief as you are free from having to deal with it, while it just keeps growing in importance and risk. Never wait for someone to do things – be the driving force for resolving the issue or at least delegating it to someone to deal with.
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