I’m turning right onto a busy street, in the busy city where I live. I look to my left; four lanes of traffic are headed towards me.
A bus in the right lane is sputtering along, too slowly for traffic. But there’s no bus stop in sight.
That’s curious, I think to myself. The slow moving bus means the right lane is free for me. Time to turn right, right?
That’s when the surprise happened.
As I slowly moved into the right lane, some kid on a bike comes off the sidewalk – and nearly hits the front of my car!
No, wait a minute, let me rephrase that: I nearly hit that kid!
After cursing loudly, but not proudly, I thought to myself:
that kid came out of nowhere!
And then: who rides their bike on a street that’s this busy, and cuts off a car like it’s no big deal?
Isn’t it interesting how surprises make us even more surprised, when we try to make sense of events that “come from nowhere.” Because you and I both know that things always come from somewhere.
So we need to figure it out. Because we don’t want those negative surprises to happen again!
But surprises are everywhere, aren’t they. Yes, they are.
Why? Because we all have blind spots.
For me, I was looking left. Fixated on a bus. Concentrating on traffic on my left. Never expected a bicycle on my right.
Luckily, my blind spot led to a blog post – not something worse.
But reflecting on this situation, I realize that I have blind spots all the time. Do you?
Here’s how you can identify a blind spot, and what you can do about it:
- Look for the OMG: events that make you say, “Wow!” or “That ______ came out of no where!” – everything comes from somewhere, we just can’t always see it
- Some advice or guidance keeps showing up: friends, co-workers, or others you respect keep calling your attention to that one thing that makes you shake your head and say, “no”…except, when you think about it, you probably need to find a way to “yes”
- Some results keep showing up: there’s a pattern that repeats itself. Why? Perhaps you’re thinking that you lack the skills, or the training, or the guts, or the whatever, to solve the recurring puzzle. But here’s a new thought:
Instead of blamestorming, or beating yourself up for being yourself (how is that productive?) maybe it’s time to see what you’ve been missing.
You have a blind spot.
Cars today have blind spot monitoring. Why don’t you?
Given that blind spots are there, what action can you take to make sure you see the unseen?
- You could punish yourself for results that don’t satisfy.
- You could enroll in a training course, or find new resources.
- You could keep pushing away your friends, family and co-workers who are trying to help you.
- Or you could follow the advice of Elvis Presley: Stop, Look and Listen.
Before you try to modify yourself, maybe you should adjust your point of view. I mean, I’m not a bad driver. But I nearly hit a kid on a bicycle!
Not intentionally, but still…what if someone was in the passenger seat, looking to the right…what then?
So much of my coaching work centers on identifying blind spots. You know why?
My clients don’t need fixing. In fact, most of the folks I work with are well-equipped to do their jobs, run their businesses, and excel in the game of life.
Does that describe you? Maybe the “transformation” you need is simply a new point of view.
Look and listen to the people and ideas that keep showing up. Is there something you’re not seeing?
Coaching isn’t about fixing people, at least not for me. Coaching is about identifying blind spots. Sharing new perspectives. Giving you a “warning light” when you need it most, so that you can take the action you need. For my clients, I don’t need to “take the wheel” when surprises happen.
I help my clients to understand the best path through traffic – by pointing to new ways of looking at the same old problems.
If you’re ready to talk with someone who can help with that blind spot – before you pull out into traffic – maybe we should talk.
About the Author
Chris Westfall provides expert guidance to business leaders across a broad array of industries, specializing in technology, healthcare and entrepreneurial ventures. He is the publisher of seven books; his latest effort is Success With Less, written by Salesforce executive, Karen Mangia.
Find out how you can access new advice, and a fresh perspective, here.