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8 Blind Spots to Self-assessment

You need to be able to judge yourself, because if you don’t see your negative behavior, you can’t change it. Blind spots are a common barrier to accurate self-assessment. There are 8 common blind spots:

1. Excessive ambition

If you suffer from this, you feel you have to be right, no matter what the cost. You don’t cooperate – you compete, even with people on your own team. Other people may think you’re arrogant and that you brag too much about your accomplishments.

2. Unreasonable goals

This refers to setting deadlines that are almost impossible to meet. You do this because you don’t understand how much time and effort it takes to complete tasks, so you are not sympathetic when team members struggle.

3. Workaholism

If you are a workaholic, your job takes precedence over everything else in your life. You may compromise your family to work long and, often, unnecessary hours. You may be close to burning out – so when there’s an emergency, you might not be able to cope effectively.

4. Pushing others

If you push someone else too hard, you may drive him to the verge of a breakdown. You also may be a micromanager; you take over and don’t let your staff make even small decisions.

5. Hunger for power

This means you want authority to further your own self-interests. You always have your own agenda and are not concerned about anyone else’s needs.

6. Glory seeking

If you’re a glory seeker, you take credit for other people’s work, but are quick to shift the blame for mistakes. You also don’t follow through on projects. After you’ve been praised, you’re out looking for the next parade, instead of finishing tasks.

7. Focused on appearance

This means worrying more about your image than about the product. You might care more about how expensive your suit is than how your employees are doing.

8. Perfectionism

If you are a perfectionist, you are focused on small details, even when the big picture is more important. You don’t take feedback well and often become angry. You don’t admit to mistakes, even when you’re clearly at fault.

An accurate self-assessment helps you understand yourself. Blind spots can interfere with your ability to see yourself clearly. It’s easy to slip into denial and filter out negative information. By understanding blind spots and seeking feedback from others, you can increase your self-awareness.

In Tune with Instinct

Instincts can be an important part of the decision-making process. Many high-ranking executives report that their gut- level reactions factor into critical decisions, such as mergers, financial moves, and other high-impact situations. The following points are important in understanding instincts.

The source of instinct

Instincts are a part of the brain’s learning system. Every experience you have evokes an emotion – fear, happiness, or contentment. These emotions are stored in a part of the brain called the Amygdala. This provides you with an “emotional blueprint” of every experience you’ve had.

The Amygdala uses this information to help you make decisions like, “The fish sounds better than the pasta.” It’s through this part of the brain that you have gut reactions to each decision you’re faced with. Instinct is like primitive radar – telling you that something is “off.”

Instincts or gut feelings may come from an essential early warning system for danger that is still present today in feelings such as anxiety or apprehension.

Developing instinct

Instincts come from remembered emotional patterns. Life experiences add up, so it’s logical that older people have more gut feelings than younger people. There are many ways to deal with gut feelings, but the best approach is to balance feelings with facts.

Instincts are thought to be a warning system, like radar. They developed in the brain through evolution, like many other thought processes.