In medicine, the blind spot is the area in the visual field, which corresponds to the zone on the optic disc of the retina in your eyes, where there is a lack of light-detecting photoreceptor cells. The brain interpolates the missing input-data, which is not available in the area of your blind spot, based on information details gained from the surroundings, as well as information obtained from the other eye, so that we are usually not aware of the blind spot’s existence.
Similarly, in our personal or business blind spot, we may seem to be unable to take in new information. Our past experiences have shaped and cemented our beliefs, assumptions, and expectations of how the world works to such an extent, that we have literally become blind to what is really going on in and around us in such an area. We interpolate, making assumptions about what is going on around us, based on factors we are no longer conscious of, forces at work in our blind spot which are no longer under our control.
Most of these subconscious programs were probably originally well intentioned, designed and created to help, support and protect us!
But more often than not, the forces active in our blind spot will sabotage our ability to make effective decisions to change our life and our business for the better. I see these forces at work virtually every time I coach corporate clients, executives and business owners, although they are usually not consciously aware of what is going on under the surface.
I frequently find that the forces active in the blind spot include:
- An unwillingness or inability to engage in creative, constructive conflict, both within the organization, as well as with external stakeholders
- Emotional disengagement or employee inertia, due to excessive change initiatives, project overload, leadership fire-fighting, and an overall lack of direction
- Negative associations with projects, products and processes that failed in the past
- Difficult clients, markets or product segments employees have learned to avoid
- Opportunities business leaders no longer pursue due to past issues, perceived potential risk, or the lack of low-hanging fruit to create short-term success
- Assumptions about what is permitted, compliant, politically correct – and what not
- Extrapolating past experiences to predict future developments of market trends, economies, buyer behaviour, the competitive landscape
But in my executive coaching engagements, I have usually found very positive factors to be present and active in the business blind spot, too! According to my experience these often include:
- Untapped innovation potential, stifled under a blanket of politically correct, streamlined management power-talk
- Process improvement know-how and employees’ implicit ability to make better decisions on the shop floor than what the executives dream up in their ivory towers
- Market intelligence and intimate customer knowledge which is often left untapped even by the most sophisticated CRM or touch point management systems
- Game-changing business ideas employees work on in their spare time, because they don’t believe their company would value their input
- Contacts to thought leaders, political movers and shakers, potential business partners, and possible affiliates which employees are acquainted with, but would never share as contacts with their employer
Your blind spot usually is the direct result of your perceptual filters, including your formal and informal business values, rules and beliefs. Understanding what is really going on in your personal or corporate blind spot is often a critical key to creating a real breakthrough in your business.
Find out more about how you can turn your blind spot into your sweet spot at