It is an inevitable part of human life to have blindspots – things (usually about ourselves) that we find it hard to see. They are hard to see because we are so used to living in our own world – seeing things from our perspective – that it is hard to be fully objective. For example, we might get really nervous before client meetings and we start to talk very quickly. We have no idea this is happening until people start telling us, giving us feedback – helping us see our blindspots.
One of the major benefits about having a buddy is that we have somebody in our lives who will make it their job to help us be the best version of ourselves by compassionately pointing out our blindspots. By doing this, they give us the choice to change things; or simply carry on as we used to (but at least in the full knowledge about what we do and how it affects us and others).
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If our buddy does not point them out – because they are scared about what we might say or don’t want to risk us being angry with them – far from helping us they are in fact contributing to our own lack of awareness. This ignorance about our habits and foibles helps lock us in place – maintaining what are likely to be damaging self-sabotaging behaviours and beliefs. In other words it is only the people who are most committed to our long-term success who have the courage and commitment to help us reveal our blindspots for our ultimate benefit.
Tip: Human beings are astonishingly adaptable to new insights and very quickly take on board feedback, particularly when it is given with compassion. So no matter how tough the feedback might be, almost all people are resilient enough to hear it, no matter how tough it might be at the beginning. This means we rarely have an excuse to wiggle out of being a truly supportive coach or colleague.