We all have blind spots.
If you catch yourself thinking, “I don’t have blind spots,” there’s a good chance you just discovered your first one!
A tool I can always count on to illuminate aspects of my own and others’ unique (and often otherwise unrecognized) attributes, is The Birkman Method.
The first time I saw “withdrawing, fatigued, indecisive, pessimistic, and overly sensitive to criticism” suggested by Birkman as some of my potential stress reactions, I wasn’t sure I was buying it. Then as I sat in my office one day feeling like I just wanted to escape my day, I reviewed that list a little more openly. On that particular day, I needed to push forward with some actions. But decisions were needed, and none of the options looked good to me. I also was feeling a bit hurt by a pretty innocent comment from a colleague, and I really just wanted everyone and everything to go away and leave me alone.
Hmmm, maybe I really was exhibiting those stress behaviors after all!
Those phrases from Birkman served as a very effective mirror once I was willing to peer into it. No longer being oblivious to those behavior tendencies makes it at least a bit easier to combat them. I have also seen words in Birkman reports illuminate blind spots for lots of other people over the years. It’s not uncommon to hear someone say, “I’m not sure I do that,” and very quickly hear teammates chime in with stories wrapped in an overall message of, “Oh, yes, you do!” While this certainly happens to help someone understand their unproductive behaviors, it also happens in beautiful moments that affirm strengths.
That’s one of the cool things about being brave enough to uncover our blind spots.
Sometimes there’s an incredible, previously unrecognized, natural strength just waiting to be acknowledged and unleashed. Leaders worth following understand self-awareness is a critical skill and increasing it is a lifelong journey. If you are reading this and have Birkman data available to you, get it out. Read your report again. I guarantee you will find a new nugget of insight.
Here’s a specific challenge for you:
Focus on each area of your report that presents your “Usual Behavior”. What natural strength has been sitting in your blind spot that you can now leverage more?
Written by: Sandy Tush, Partner – Milestone Leadership
Milestone Leadership offers immersive leadership development options that hold up a mirror to your unique style of leadership and perspectives so you can identify and overcome your blind spots.
We’re filling limited seats now for two of our most popular programs:
Through our flagship leadership development program, we bring together a class of cross-industry peers to inspire growth in all participants as we discuss the common leadership challenges and opportunities all of us face. The intentionally small class size allows personal access to inspiring speakers, as well as time to meaningfully interact and connect with other participants. Participants develop a clear understanding of their leadership capabilities and learn to maximize influence through emotional intelligence. Additionally, we work with each class member to create a specific and individualized action plan for continued personal development. Coming up May 18-20, 2021, we have very limited space available for the next development program. For more information, call 866-752-7180 or message us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This cohort-based program is designed to support the development of high performing, high potential supplier talent, helping them excel in their current roles as well as attain career advancement over a six-month span of time. The opportunity fosters development of an external peer network, and participants receive multiple 1:1 executive coaching sessions from seasoned veterans with 20+ years in the supplier community. We are now opening registration for the Fall of 2021 and will begin our next journey of building leaders worth following through individual assessments, five half-day general sessions covering important leadership topics, and our off-site Milestone Leadership Intensive program. For more information, feel free to reach out directly to Milestone’s Executive in Residence Lori Brown at (479) 366-1495 or LoBrown@milestoneleadership.