How to Check Your Blind Spots

Planters need to adapt quickly—identifying and correcting blind spots promptly is vital.

How to Check Your Blind Spots

It beeps. It lights up. It creates awareness that your casual over-the-shoulder can’t achieve. Vehicles have come a long way in blind spot technology.

It use to require a head turn of some 75 degrees. Then manufactures made the mini-mirrors to be added to your side view mirror. And now, automated blind spot checkers.

I doubt most of us have kept progressing in our leadership blind spot technology as vehicle manufactures have for their cars. In fact, as we’ve gone further in our leadership, our blind spots may have been ignored and probably even gotten larger.

Because we’re the “leader,” the person riding shotgun with us may feel less freedom to warn us of our blind spots. And because we’re the “boss,” our ego may prohibit us from asking said shotgun rider for their input.

We feel like we have so much experience, we can just sense our blind spots. “Surely I’m self-aware enough, right?” Yep, the more longevity and leadership success means we may have just broadened the width of our blind spots.

For these reasons, we need more sophisticated blind spot checking.

Blind Spot Automation

Awareness

It begins with admitting you have a problem. “Hi, my name is Brian, and I know I have leadership blind spots.” If you struggle to say that, well, you’ve definitely got blind spots. They could be significant blind spots like character or competency. Usually though, they’re areas that didn’t use to be a problem, but over time without intentionality, the blind spot has become a reality. Are you aware you have blind spots? Can your self-awareness skills identify them?

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Ask

No matter how self-aware you may be, you’ll still need a second opinion. And that means you’ll have to ask others. And when you do, ask with assumption that these blind spots do in fact exist. Your inquiry shouldn’t be, “Do I have any blind spots?” But should be more like, “I realize I get into my own world, habits and passionate about my work, and I know that means I have some leadership blind spots. What are a couple areas you’ve seen where I’m most likely to be susceptible?”

Just assuming they exist and framing in a way that gives the person permission to answer candidly without feeling like they’re attacking you will go a long way in getting useful feedback.

Assessments

While I do think personality assessments should always be considered 10 percent accurate, nor do I see their results as something that should hold a person hostage to behaviors that are “hard wired in.” I do feel like the results can be a tool. A tool that’s printed that can tell you in black and white how your actions and personality may be perceived by others.

In the most recent personality assessment I took, its results reminded me of some areas that are square in my blind spot. But there were some results that were new to me. For example, when it mentioned, “[Brian] may rely too much on past experience.” I’d never considered this before, but because I became aware of this possibility, I was able to investigate. If you haven’t used a personality assessment, I encourage you to find a free or affordable one and see if it will create awareness for you.

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Accountability

Who, without you asking for it, can make you aware of your leadership blind spots? Who have you given permission to be a “back seat driver” and let you know when you’re merging into an area that could cause a wreck?

You’re a leader. You get things done. You care about others. But a leader who cares about those they lead will make sure at least one of the things you get done is identifying and eliminating your leadership blind spots.

This article originally appeared here.

Brian Dodridge
I serve as executive pastor at Brentwood Baptist Church, a multi-site mega church in the Nashville, TN area. My goal for this blog is to provide you with practical takeaways for everyday church leadership.
  • Barry Pendergast

    If only the church leaders who abused us had read this article things may have turned out differently. Much of it was already in church policy but totally ignored. With all the scandals happening in show business, politics, and church life we believe sexual abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, spiritual abuse, bearing false witness & inappropriate physical touch are sinful and all equal in their harm – we suffered the last 5 in our dealings with leaders at a mega Canadian evangelical church but despite overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing we were shut down by an insidious pastor ‘protection’ scheme & threat of legal action. Firm requirements were given in a staff covenant but critical actions were not monitored or followed. Pleas by us, reputable Christians and a respected national organization (dealing with building awareness on institutional abuse) for an independent and truthful investigation were progressively and cruelly blocked. Our respective doctors and a number of government counsellors and psychologists will attest to the physical and psychological impact and harm this experience had on us. We are open to a transparent review of our own actions less we were responsible in any way. With all professional bodies there are strict rules for behaviour and we believe its time for religious leaders to also be held accountable by an independent ethics review body where complaints can be properly registered and impartially investigated. We are gradually pushing levels of government for such a change. Please join us…..