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What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

By Laurie Weiss

Everybody has blind spots.

You have certain tendencies that you are not aware of but others can see. These are your blind spots, and they often cause big problems.

You may not want to accept that your life style is responsible for your high cholesterol and that you are courting a heart attack. You may not want to know that your defensiveness cost you a promotion.

Over two hundred years ago, Scottish poet Robert Burns (Kinsley, 1968) wrote:

"Oh wad some power the giftie gie us

To see oursel's as others see us!"

It can be a real challenge to try to see yourself as others see you. Sometimes you actually can do so, by watching yourself on videotape, or listening to an audiotape. Usually, though, this information is only available when others are willing to share it with you.

But, you may have a blind spot about being alerted to your blind spot!

If you do, you try to turn away any feedback that does not agree with your own self-assessments. You may be blocking the very information you need.

However, when you learn to accept any feedback as a gift, you can use it to fuel your own growth and development.

Sometimes someone wants to give you information about something you say or do that annoys others. You might even be happy to change it if you only it existed. But you can't know unless you are open to their feedback.

Sometimes the information is extremely important to you, because something you are doing (or not doing) may keep you from career advancement or interfere with your important relationships.

Although you may not exactly welcome feedback that brings uncomfortable information to your attention, you may desperately need it.

When you accept new information about yourself, you can then take action and make important changes -- changes that can make a tremendous difference to your success or even to your life.

Excerpted from lesson 11, "The Integrity Course."

Copyright 2005 Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.

About The Author
Laurie Weiss

Learn to say what you think without getting fired or losing your friends. or email: Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. is an internationally-known executive coach, psychotherapist, and author.

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