Checking Our Blind Spots

By Christina Jones, CAPP

How do you check your blind spots? Maybe you have systems in place that alert you when you are drifting—or maybe you are old school like me and ask your passenger if there is something there you can’t see.

Ask people for feedback, they sometimes tell you what you want to hear. Ask them about blind spots and they’re more likely to tell you what you need to hear. – Adam Grant

This quote struck me the other day. Our formal systems and review processes often show us areas of weakness of which we are already aware. Giving and receiving critical feedback can be uncomfortable and focusing on areas the receiving individual is already mindful of seems to soften the blow. And yes, feedback on those areas is good for continued development and growth, but are we seeking out feedback in a way that encourages our influencers to identify areas to which we may be oblivious? Are we asking frequently enough to avoid surprises and modify our behavior to stay on path to our goals? Are we asking the right people? Your supervisor is not the only person qualified to provide feedback. Your peers, support staff, friends—even your clients—can provide unique viewpoints and insights when the request for feedback is posed with sincerity and openness.

So, before you get pinned into an uncomfortable position or stuck in a jam feeling like you have nowhere to grow, pick up the phone. “I really value and respect your opinion, and I am really trying to focus on personal and professional growth. Are there any blind spots you think I may not be seeing where I could improve?”

Christina Jones, CAPP, is a parking analyst with Walker Consultants.