I’ve posted a sequence of three videos to YouTube on addressing your own leadership blind spots. I felt using video might make this topic more direct and personal.
Blind spots are tough. We all have them and they can be challenging to root out — given especially that we often prefer others do their work before we do our own.
I’ve broken this material into three chunks — the total watch time is just over 33 minutes.
I have to say I found the process of making videos required new skills from me — ones I hope to develop and improve over time. Your feedback would be helpful to me, so please do leave comments either here or on the Youtube pages.
As part of my channel called Leadership Essentials, the first video defines what I mean by a leadership blind spot according to two vectors: the seriousness of the behavior and the resistance of a leader to address it.
The second video defines the skills needed to address blind spots and identifies four kinds of feedback we need in order to learn more about them and discover alternative ways of thinking and acting.
The third video elaborates eight action principles that a leader can use to gather feedback and develop strategies for personal growth and change.
You can download the charts and visual aids used in these videos at this link (pdf).
I hope you find the these videos helpful to you!
The material, anyway, is very close to my heart.
Hi Dan. Really enjoyed these. Great job, especially considering itâ€™s your first time doing videos.
Some thoughts on some of the things you said in your videos.
Do you think part of the problem in that we donâ€™t listen to the feedback of others is that weâ€™re not even listening to ourselves, our deeper Self, in the first place? And the reason weâ€™re not listening to our Self is because weâ€™re so focused on what we think others “conventionally” expect us to be (ie commanding, controlling) that it drowns out who we truly want to be (this deeper Self that wants to emerge)? If so, I find it ironic that weâ€™re caught in this “game” of being what we think others expect us to be but in reality, they really donâ€™t like it when we be this way.
Also with regards to blind spots, while they may start out as being unintentional, donâ€™t they evolve to becoming intentional over time in that we are specifically avoiding wanting to see or hear about these truths. Iâ€™m reminded of the movie A Monster Calls that perfectly encapsulates this narrative, as the boy in the movie doesnâ€™t want to see and accept a deeper truth about himself that relates to his dying mother. He even says it will “kill him” if he says this truth out loud.
Hi Nollind! Thank you so much for watching the videos and your kind comment about them. I appreciate your meditation on the reasons that we avoid awareness. As I mentioned in the videos, to me part of the reason seems to be that whatever is ‘in’ the blind spot is inconsistent with who we feel we need to be, so that could be almost anything. If I think I am an honest person but in fact I lie, I may discount and excuse the lies I tell because “that’s not really me.” I may even feel guilt about the lies in order to protect myself from understanding, but the truth is I AM the kind of person who lies. I shield myself from that self-knowledge with the guilt — which if I got below to look would set up too much cognitive dissonance and raise too many other questions about the superstructure of my self-concept. Your point about not being able to listen to our truest Self is certainly relevant here, although I tend to believe that it’s less about what others think or expect of us, per se, than the expectations that we have inherited and which have become part of our inner world, no longer needing much if any triggering to nag at us. It may truly be that this psychic energy develops a life of its own as a kind of elusive parasite or virus. Then it may be useful to ask ourselves, “Who gave us this dis-ease?” I haven’t seen A Monster Calls but it could be that the dying mother passed it along with whatever other “truth” might be there. It sounds like exactly the self-sealing nature of persistent blind spots. In one form or another that parasitic energy convinces us we can’t get along without it.
I’m glad you’re interested in this topic, too, Nollind. It’s fun to bounce some ideas around! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your observations!
This is an interesting and helpful series — the emphasis on behaviors and listening deeply to the affect of those behaviors, and how experiment with alternate behaviors provides concrete advice on exploring aspects of ourselves that most of us was choose to ignore. I was attracted to the idea of recognizing and addressing blind spots as a form of liberation. In part III, I had to pause the video to start creating a list for myself — what are my leadership questions, and who can help me answer these.
Thank you so much, Matt! I very much appreciate your experience and the feedback. It is of great help to know where you paused, as I think this means the videos are communicating effectively.
Once again, many thanks for taking a moment to comment on this series.
Best to you!