What’s the one thing that all leaders have in common? They all have blindspots.
How can you avoid blindspots crushing your goals?
For starters, start with asking your team three simple questions. When they answer them, encourage them to take their time and think about their answer. Is that a totally honest answer? Without the complete truth, your time to “recovery” will be impeded.
1. What’s holding you back from the next level of success?
When surveyed, the majority of employees say that something is holding them back. It matters because these employees will be the first to consider leaving the company. They will drastically impact your turnover rate. To get around the feeling of being held back, you can set some realistic goals with the help of a mentor. Then make those goals part of your personal objectives. These will be great personal development opportunities.
I want to caution you not to give superficial answers. You shouldn’t simply say, “I’m the thing holding me back.” That’s like saying, “we don’t have any competitors.” That’s crap.
2. How often do you prefer feedback? Are there regular intervals?
Almost all employees want more feedback on their performance. Some will say that they want the feedback directly at the time of the task. Our research shows that it’s better to allow at least 24 hours to pass. This allows the giver and receiver time to process the good parts of the task and those parts which could have gone better. The more helpful and consistent feedback comes, the more engaged the employee will be.
3. What aspects of the company do you feel need to be improved?
This question recognizes that the employee has a voice in helping the company become better. It doesn’t mean that their ideas will be adopted, but it will give them a sense of ownership. A recent study showed that a fair portion of employees withheld an idea for how to fix an existing problem.
Blindspots are part of being human.
Some blindspots are bigger than others. My manager, Mark, had a blindspot the size of the Grand Canyon. You couldn’t tell him anything and when people left the company because of him, they either didn’t tell him that was the case or he said there was another reason.
“They left for better benefits.” “They left to start their own company.” “They left because we worked them too hard.”
When it was time for me to have that conversation with Mark, I sidestepped it too. I didn’t want to deal with the confrontation. It makes me wonder how he’s ever going to get better. How will you get better?
As a leader, your job is to carefully consider the responses that you get back from your teams. Analyze them. Chart them. Graph them. Show the results to your team. This is a great way to begin to show them that you are listening.
Keep it up! You’re doing a great job!
Do you want to know more about leadership blindspots?
Send me an email at Brian@ARadicalVision.com and we can set up a time to chat 1 on 1 and I’ll include a PDF download of my book “Sometimes it does take a Brain Surgeon” to share with your team. Or, if you prefer to just sign up and receive my latest content click here.
I’d also welcome your comments below.