Leaders can remain in their blind spot for several reasons.
Here are a few:
1. Lack of self-awareness: Sometimes, leaders may not be aware of their own weaknesses, biases, or blind spots. They may be overconfident in their abilities, which can prevent them from seeing their shortcomings.
2. Fear of vulnerability: Some leaders may feel that admitting to their weaknesses or blind spots could make them appear vulnerable or weak. As a result, they may avoid acknowledging these areas altogether.
3. Limited feedback: Leaders may not receive honest or constructive feedback from their colleagues, subordinates, or other stakeholders. Without this feedback, they may not be able to identify their blind spots.
4. Cognitive biases: Leaders, like all humans, are subject to cognitive biases, such as confirmation bias or the halo effect. These biases can make it difficult for leaders to see their own blind spots or consider alternative perspectives.
5. Busy schedule: Finally, leaders can become so focused on achieving their goals or managing their teams that they may not have time to reflect on their own performance and identify areas for improvement. This can lead to blind spots that persist over time.
In order to overcome blind spots, leaders can take steps such as seeking feedback, engaging in self-reflection, and being open to alternative perspectives. It is also important for organizations to create a culture that values self-awareness and continuous learning, which can help leaders to identify and address their blind spots.
I have come across leaders who stay in their blind spots due to a strong faith in themselves, their company, or their religion.
They do so for many reasons, including the below.
1. Belief in infallibility: If a leader strongly believes that their religious faith is infallible, they may be less likely to question their own decisions or beliefs. This can make it difficult for them to see their blind spots or consider alternative perspectives.
2. Confirmation bias: Misplaced faith can provide a strong sense of identity and community. As a result, leaders who hold strong beliefs may be more likely to seek out information and perspectives that confirm their existing beliefs, while ignoring or dismissing information that challenges their beliefs.
3. Fear of ostracism: Some communities can also be highly insular and may place a strong emphasis on conformity to certain beliefs or practices. Leaders who fear being ostracized or criticized by their community may be reluctant to question or challenge these beliefs, even if they suspect that they may be in a blind spot.
4. Lack of exposure to alternative perspectives: Faith can also be highly personal and subjective. If a leader has never been exposed to alternative philosophical perspectives, they may be less likely to recognize the limitations or blind spots in their own beliefs.
Regardless of the reason, leaders who stay in their blind spots due to a misplaced faith can benefit from seeking out diverse perspectives and engaging in critical self-reflection. This can help them to identify areas where their beliefs may be limiting their effectiveness as a leader, and to make more informed decisions that reflect the needs and values of their entire organization, rather than just their own personal beliefs.
If a leader persists in their status quo, despite evidence of blind spots or limitations in their leadership, it can have negative consequences for their organization, team, or community.
Some of these consequences may include:
1. Stagnation: Leaders who are resistant to change or new ideas can create a stagnant organizational culture that fails to adapt to changing market conditions or evolving customer needs.
2. Poor decision-making: Leaders who are unwilling to consider alternative perspectives or seek out feedback may make decisions that are poorly informed, biased, or not in the best interests of their organization.
3. Reduced innovation: Leaders who are set in their ways may be less likely to encourage innovation or experimentation, which can limit the ability of their organization to identify new opportunities or solutions.
4. Disengagement: Employees or team members who feel that their perspectives or feedback are not valued by their leader may become disengaged or disillusioned, leading to decreased motivation, productivity, and retention.
If a leader persists in their status quo, it is important for stakeholders to speak up and provide feedback that challenges their assumptions or beliefs. This feedback should be delivered in a respectful and constructive manner and should be backed up by evidence or data wherever possible.
In some cases, it may be necessary to escalate the issue to a higher authority or to seek out external support, such as a coach or mentor. Ultimately, the goal should be to encourage the leader to recognize and address their blind spots, and to create a culture of continuous learning and improvement that benefits the entire organization.
Coaching can be a very effective way to help leaders address their blind spots, especially when it is done in a structured and supportive manner. Coaching can help leaders to identify their blind spots, explore alternative perspectives, and develop new skills and behaviors that support their growth and development.
A skilled coach can help a leader to:
1. Increase self-awareness: Coaching can help a leader to identify their blind spots and develop a better understanding of their own strengths, weaknesses, and biases.
2. Develop new skills: Coaching can provide leaders with the tools and techniques they need to develop new skills and behaviors that support their growth and development.
3. Encourage reflection: Coaching can encourage leaders to reflect on their experiences and identify areas for improvement.
4. Provide feedback: A coach can provide honest and constructive feedback to help a leader to identify areas where they can improve their performance.
5. Foster accountability: Coaching can help leaders to set goals and develop action plans that hold them accountable for their progress.
It is important to note that coaching is most effective when the leader is open and receptive to feedback, and is committed to making changes that will benefit themselves and their organization. A coach cannot force a leader to change, but they can provide support, guidance, and feedback that can help the leader to identify and address their blind spots in a productive and effective way.
Blogs by Theresa Goh …. February 2023