In my experience, blind spots can be career limiting.
I starting working with a new coaching client.
Jane had recently been promoted, but she was not getting the engagement from her new team.
The performance level of her division was starting to fall.
When we met for the first time, I asked her to complete my leadership skills inventory, it asks leaders, to rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 5 on key traits.
As we went through the exercise, I could see her getting more annoyed as I challenged her on her very high self-assessment scores.
The ‘dam finally broke’ when I asked her about her listening skills.
“Jane, can you tell me why you rated your ‘listening skills’ 5 out of 5?”.
“Who are you to question my listening skills, I’d have you know, listening has always been a strength of mine. No one has ever questioned me on this before”, she said.
“Mark, I know you have worked with other leaders in my organisation and the feedback I heard about you, has always been very positive.
But I have my doubts if I will get any value from this one to one coaching project”.
With that, she logged out of our Zoom meeting.
Early the next morning, I got a call from Jane.
“Mark, it’s Jane here, I’m a bit embarrassed, I owe you an apology for yesterday”.
After our call, I must admit I was fuming. I may actually have cursed you.
When I went downstairs, I walked into the kitchen, my husband, Brian was preparing the dinner. We’ve only recently got married.
Brian asked me if I was ok, “you won’t believe this”, I said.
I was working with a leadership consultant today Mark Donovan, he really challenged me on what my strengths are. He even had the audacity to challenge the high rating I gave myself for my ‘listening skills’.
You of all people know how good a listener I am?
With that Brian paused…… ‘I do love you….but, maybe, this Mark Donovan guy is on to something.’
After a slight awkward pause……..we both burst out laughing.
”Mark, I’m looking forward to working with you, starting with how you can help me become a better listener.
If nothing else it will improve my relationship with Brian.”
Tip: here is a shortcut you can do tomorrow to action this point.
Ask three people you trust and respect
1. If you were recommending me to someone else what 3 things would you say about me?
2. What one thing if I stopped doing or done more of I’d be more effective in my current role?
3. What do you see as my greatest strength?
Beware of your blind spots, they can be career-limiting.