Hint; they include telling signs like batcrap craziness, grinding teeth, biting your tongue and banging your head against the wall.
Being aware of your blindspots is one thing. Knowing what to do about them is a whole other ball of wax.
Relax. Here are 4 easy peasy steps for how to side step your blindspots.
To start, think of an issue you’re facing, something that you’re seeking to change. Use that example in each of the steps below. I’ll use an example of having conflict with a co-worker.
- Awareness is knowing that your perspective is a unique frame that influences everything you see & do.
- Your perspective is like radar; it brings some things front and centre to your attention and makes other things disappear.
Figure out how your unique perspective is influencing the your example situation. For example, using my example of having conflict with a co-worker, perhaps your view of your colleague’s display of anger is affected by your view that anger shouldn’t be displayed in public.
- Attitude means focusing on adjusting the frame you view the world from.
- Know that this stuff can be learned. So no, you’re not doomed. Far from it.
- I use my Life Lenses™ assessment when I’m doing team building with clients to help them understand what comes onto their radar easily naturally and comfortably and what they tend to miss. Talk about some fun shifts in attitude!
Using the example of a conflict with a colleague, this step could include gaining some more conflict resolution skills and/or intercultural conflict resolution skills.
Up til now it’s all in your head (examining your awareness and attitude). Now it’s time for some behaviour change.
Work on changing your behaviour. Be slow to judge and dance with differences (e.g. welcome diversity)
Ask someone completely unrelated to your sticky situation for their input. Tip: pretend two totally unrelated professionals take you out to lunch to give you advice. What would an actor and zookeeper have to say? Here’s some more information on how to use this technique (actor and zookeeper included).
4. Social change
Keep your eye on the ball, with your change effort in mind as you aim for social change.
Everyone matters; everyone has a seat at the table where diverse skills, beliefs, perspectives are brought to bear to make the world more inclusive.
Work towards inclusive communities. Actively increase the sense of belonging for others (as people don’t contribute if they don’t feel like they belong and we need all the input we can get to solve pressing social problems.
I’m working with United Nations Environment to roll out a plastic reduction initiative in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana. For it to work, it will be critical to localize the learning, that is to make it applicable and relevant for the communities and countries it will be used in. Watching the language we use and getting lots of feedback will make it better for all, including the earth.
Being aware of your blindspots bring ease, options, freedom and relief. Next time you realize your blind spot is biting you, stop and figure out which of the four steps you’re at (attitude, awareness, behaviour or social change) and create an action plan to move along.
Bring on the light! And insert heavenly sigh and a Calgon take me away bubble bath here.