Blind Spots: How to Discover Them and Transform Them into Strengths
Blind spots are negative patterns or behaviors that we all have, but are not aware of. These areas can be prime for transformational change and can be uncovered through self-reflection, feedback from others and psychometric tests. Transforming blind spots into new strengths requires a growth mindset and a willingness to ask for help.
Our eyes have a permanent blind spot because of a small surface area in the back of the retina that contains no photoreceptor nerve cells. However, our brain is clever enough to fill in the blanks and project similar information in place of the blind spot, so we get a full image. Blind spots in our lives are malleable and can be resolved.
To discover potential blind spots, start by reviewing your wheel of life. Divide your life into categories such as money/finances, career/work, spiritual/personal growth, intimate relationships, family relationships/social friendships, recreation/hobbies, and health/physical and mental wellbeing. Reflect on your satisfaction level (0 to 10) in each category and identify areas that need improvement. A coach can be helpful in probing further if you are unsure of your ratings.
Psychometric tests can also be helpful in uncovering blind spots. Tools like the Gallup’s Clifton Strengths Finder or the VIA Character Strengths survey can help you explore your strengths and weaknesses. However, you must be careful not to take the results as gospel. Always ask yourself if each trait or competency is beneficial or harmful to you.
Feedback from qualified sources like anonymous peer 360° surveys can also highlight blind spots. Embrace the feedback, take a growth mindset perspective, and consider checking in with your manager or colleagues to brainstorm possibilities of changes. To transform blind spots into strengths, ask colleagues to point out what you may not be seeing and make them feel safe to do so.
Finally, work with a coach or mentor to uncover limiting biases and prejudices. We all have biases, some of them unconscious. Don’t be afraid to confront them and work through them to transform them into strengths. Embracing blind spots can lead to significant personal and professional growth. With a willingness to learn and a growth mindset, anyone can transform their blind spots into their greatest strengths.