What's your blind spot?
The other day I was talking with a friend about his relationships – specifically the behaviour he puts into them. The conversation was going along well – with us both agreeing that all behaviour had an impact and, in choosing our behaviour we can often determine that impact.
As we talked about his team, his peers and his boss he was really open. He could see that some of the behaviour he was choosing was not helping him have the kind of relationships he wanted. But then conversation moved to the relationship with his adult children… and everything changed.
He is a divorced father who has remarried, and his children are seemingly struggling with his new wife. Some of their behaviour, by anyone’s standards is clearly rude and unkind. But when I asked him about holding his children to account for their behaviour, he got angry – far preferring to believe that their behaviour was the result of his ex-wives influence, rather than their own choices.
When we start to feel pain, fear, embarrassment and we begin to shut the conversation down – that is exactly when we should lean in
Sometimes we arrive at a crucial point in our personal learning. It happens when we touch on something so personal that we stop seeing the learning and begin to feel the emotion associated with the situation whatever it is. All of a sudden we believe that ‘truths’ that apply the world over (like we all have a choice about how we behave in any situation) don’t apply in that situation.
But here’s what bothers me about this. THAT is where the learning is.
When we start to feel pain, fear, embarrassment and we begin to shut the conversation down – that is exactly when we should lean in. It is when we should keep breathing and try and become the observer – the witness, to what is really happening.
In my experience, that is where the magic happens – the true insights and, if we are brave enough, it is available to all of us.
So… what’s your blind spot? What are you leaning away from when you really should be leaning in?
About the author
Elke Edwards is the founder of Ivy House London
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