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Posted: February 11, 2011

Watch out for blind spots

They can cause a career to crash and burn

Derek Murphy

Driving and blind spots often go hand-in-hand. These blind spots are not only frustrating; they can present real problems, which sometimes result in car accidents.

Well, blind spots are not just limited to the roadways. As individuals climb the leadership ranks, they oftentimes are moving at such a quick pace that there is not much time for reflection. As a result, even the highest performing leaders are often prone to management and leadership blind spots. While leadership blind spots might not be as dangerous to your health as driving blind spots are, they can certainly derail an otherwise successful career.

As you're likely aware, there are actually two distinct perceptions of you. One is how you see yourself, and the second is how others see you. These views can influence your ability to lead, so it is crucial to find the blind spots between the two views.

For example, you may think of yourself as a leader who is great at delegating work, while others view you as someone who micromanages everything. If no one brings this gap to your attention, you'll continue to operate within this blind spot.

One way to shed some light on blinds spots is to solicit candid feedback from those around you. Making use of such feedback can be a powerful development tool for leaders who are looking to mitigate any weaknesses and capitalize on strengths. Both positive and negative feedback can help leaders improve their performance.

To ensure the feedback process is done properly, look for feedback tools that evaluate your behaviors or skills based on confidential responses. Anonymity is an extremely important component of the feedback process, as it tends to encourage the respondents to answer more honestly.

Once you receive feedback, here are a few tips to help you address your blind spots.

• Try not to take the feedback personally. Be open to what you see and hear.

• Take the time to evaluate the information and consider specific actions for improvement.

• Use feedback to clarify goals and track progress toward those goals.

• When you make a decision, get in the habit of considering the impact it will have on the people affected by it.

Opening your eyes to potential blind spots is a powerful way to take your performance to the next level.

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Derek Murphy is CEO of TBC, a global assessment company with over 4 decades of experience, specializing in 360s and survey customization. Our hosting platform, TruScore®, allows you to manage all of your talent management assessments in one central location. Request a demo to discover why some of the most recognized brands in the Fortune 1000 chose TBC.

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

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