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How to Discover Your Leadership Blind Spots: Find out the things that you don't know are holding you back

"Really? I had no idea I do that!" This is what I hear from leaders I coach when we come across a blind spot they have. 

Blind spots are things others see in you that you don't see in yourself. Shining a light on blind spots is one of the most empowering parts of executive coaching, as it makes leaders self-aware so they can then consciously choose how to be. 

Leadership, at its core, is a journey of self-awareness and growth. Often, the most significant hurdles I see leaders face are not external challenges, but internal blind spots that can derail even the most experienced leader. 

Acknowledging your blind spots is a critical step toward becoming a more transformational leader. As Carl Jung said, "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." Check out The Amare Wave: Uplift Your Business by Putting Love to Work for a complete guide to self-awareness for high-impact leadership.

  • Are you really open to knowing your blind spots?

  • What actions will you take to do so?

  • Will you accept the truth even if you don't like it?

7 Steps to Discover and Deal With Your Blind Spots 

  1. Assess discrepancies: List three things others tell you they see in you that you don't see in yourself. Now, with compassion, ask yourself if they're true.  

  2. Engage a coach: Partner with an experienced executive coach for a series of sessions focused on uncovering and addressing your leadership blind spots. Include a structured 360-degree feedback process. 

  3. Look in the mirror - literally: Observe your facial expressions and your tone of voice as you run through some challenging conversations and interactions. Watch for signals you emit that you may not otherwise notice.

  4. Analyze past decisions: Review recent decisions, especially those that did not yield the expected outcomes. Look for patterns in your decision-making where you made up stories.  

  5. Ask the magic question: When planning or debriefing with your team, ask explicitly: "What am I missing?" Be sure to make it safe for your people to tell you the truth. 

  6. Really listen: Practice active listening in your daily interactions. Pay attention to feedback and cues from others that might highlight blind spots you're overlooking.

  7. Practice mindfulness: Dedicate 10 minutes daily to mindfulness meditation, focusing on increasing your self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Check out apps like Headspace or Calm.

As a leader, you have the unique opportunity to shape not only the future of your organization but also the lives of those you lead. By acknowledging and addressing your blind spots, you pave the way for a more empathetic, ethical, and effective form of leadership and greater teamwork. 

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