Consider this, when we get into a car, there are always blind spots. There are three choices we have to make to handle these blind spots. We can choose to ignore our blind spots and drive on the highway recklessly, changing lanes with no regard to the traffic around us and having blind trust that we will make it to our destination safely.
Or, we can use the resources available to us with the car. We can use the rear view and side mirrors to check our blind spots. We can protect our own car, as well as the cars around us, by acknowledging the blind spots are there and using readily available tools to clear up those blind spots.
Last but not least, sometimes we just need someone riding shotgun with us who can look back and let us know we have the all clear or if there is danger ahead.
In leadership, and life, asking the question, “do I have blind spots?” is the wrong question. We ALL have blind spots. They will always exist. Instead the question we should be asking is, “What can I do to see and fix my blind spots?”
Take a curiosity-first approach.
The first thing we need to do to adopt a curious-first mindset is acknowledge that we must utilize our resources to see the whole picture and not simply validate what we’re hoping for. We must seek out resources that teach us about what we’re missing.
An example: perhaps you have a coworker who has vastly differing opinions than you about a political matter. You could seek out news articles that YOU rely on and readily read. You could scour the internet for opinions that skew towards your viewpoint. Or, you could use your mirrors and seek out opinions and facts that support your coworker’s viewpoint. And when reading these, you pause before justifying your own opinion. You leave space for the other side of the coin.
Out of all three avenues, I am the biggest proponent of having a shotgun rider. We can never know the unknown alone. We need that shotgun rider to navigate us or steer us on a path that we may have missed.
It’s similar to what Tasha Eurich researches about self-awareness. We all think we are much more self-aware than we actually are. When we seek out other’s opinions about how we show up and take the path of curiosity, only then can we start to form a realistic picture of our presence.
This week I challenge you to take a step to develop a curiosity-first mindset by finding your shotgun rider. This is someone who knows you well, observes you interacting with others and isn’t afraid to tell you that your poop smells. Because sometimes it does. 😉
Cheers to growing into our best, most powerful selves!