The Mardi Gras mask is a symbol of mystery, secrecy and intrigue designed to give krewe members and revelers anonymity during a time of celebration. While the beautiful adornments are a Fat Tuesday tradition, come Ash Wednesday, the masks come off and wearers have to face the music.
The beginning of the year is a great time to assess whether you or your team are masking weaknesses in your organization. It’s time to unmask these blindspots before they lead to bigger problems down the line.
Avoiding Difficult Conversations
No one likes having the tough conversations, but the bottom line is they have to happen. And early. Leaders who wait until an issue has ballooned before addressing it are doing their employee, their team and themselves a disservice. In HR, it’s a job requirement that you be able to handle touchy personnel issues with professionalism and grace – are your company’s managers equipped and ready to do the same?
A true blindspot in that many HR professionals and leaders are completely unaware of their own implicit biases. But they have a real impact on split-second reactions and decision making. These beliefs, attitudes and stereotypes affect our understanding and actions in an unconscious manner, making identifying and correcting them difficult. But by first seeing this as a potential blind spot, and then working through trainings and education to understand and remedy them, you can assure objectivity and inclusion remain at your company’s core.
Your Impact On Others
You know the quote: people will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel (paraphrased). As leaders, a main job function is making employees feel valued, productive, motivated and inspired. But not everyone has the same communication style or goals. A major issue for managers is not understanding the unique personalities of their team members. For HR, team building activities, encouraging socializing, hiring empathetic leaders and trainings can help shine some light on this blindspot.
Not Seeing the Present
It’s hard to imagine the present as a blindspot, but a lot of times, organizational leaders fail to see what’s right in front of them: that times have changed. What got a company to where it is won’t necessarily get it where it needs to go. Having leadership that is innovative, adaptive, open to change and trained on the best current practices can help businesses see the forest through the trees.
Going It Alone
This is a common one for managers and leaders, and even HR professionals, who can tend to be a little too autonomous. Whether it’s failing to ask for help, or outside opinions, or including team members in important decisions, blindspots are created when only one set of eyes are used. If you’re an HR department of one, there are still a plethora of resources available to you online or through local networking groups. For your managers and leaders, monthly or quarterly roundtables or events outside of work can ensure that no one is working in a silo.