Who’s Got Your Blind Side

Have you ever started to change lanes while driving, and suddenly seen a car appear next to you, seemingly out of nowhere?

In football, it’s the job of the left tackle to protect a right-handed quarterback’s blind side. In business, it is equally important, yet all to often, we lack the coverage for key positions.

Every one of us has a blind side – a default way of seeing a situation. How you perceive a problem has huge impact on how you’ll solve it.

“What you view determines what you’ll do”

The best way to avoid being blindsided is to seek feedback from people with different perspectives — people who are able to see what we cannot. Each of us has a default way of seeing a situation, but most of us are unaware of our perception boas.

In working with executives, I’ve found people initially see things in one of the following 4 ways:

  1. The Fact Finder: focuses on gathering data and establishing the facts to understand the root cause
  2. The Options Generator: generates scenarios to understand what the problem could be, and possible solutions for resolving the situation
  3. The Consensus Builder: focuses on relationships, communicating, bringing others along – including employees, customers, partners and the media
  4. The Action Taker: focuses on immediate response, rolling out a detailed plan and getting the problem solved

But, too much focus on any one of these approaches limits your ability to see the whole picture and develop the most appropriate solution.

  1. If you lack the perspective of a Fact Finder, you risk solving the wrong problem
  2. If you lack an Options Generator, you may come up with an incremental rather than a breakthrough solution
  3. If you lack a Consensus Builder, you may fail to engage the employees, partners, customers or the media
  4. Finally, if you lack an Action Taker, you may uncover gaps or dropped balls as you roll out an action plan