If you’re over the age of 16, you have hopefully learned that even with all of the mirrors in your car, you still need to twist your head in an odd position to see places that your mirrors can’t see. In the world of driving, these unseen areas are called BLIND SPOTS.
Coaches often say they help people see their BLIND SPOTS. It’s always a challenge as a coach to market coaching services. If someone is BLIND to a challenge they are having, they are UNAWARE of the challenge; and so they are also UNAWARE they need help. All they see are the symptoms of the challenge.
What are Symptoms of a BLIND SPOT?
So, if you can’t know what you don’t know. What’s causing you problems in life or business? You may not be able to see the cause of your life challenges, but you will probably experience recurring problems. Here are a few examples:
- You continue to get laid off from jobs.
- Your business is losing money month after month.
- All your arguments in your marriage have the same theme.
- You are continually overlooked for promotions at work.
- You cannot get a break.
- You feel you are busier than ever and getting nowhere.
- You have plateaued at whatever area of life you are wanting to make progress.
- You have achieved amazing levels of success and find your life unfulfilled
You can’t know what’s in your BLIND SPOT. You can only know that you must have a BLIND SPOT based on the symptoms you’re experiencing in life.
What’s the COST of a BLIND SPOT?
It never fails that when I interview a prospective client who’s seeking coaching, they’re aware of their symptoms, but they struggle with paying someone to simply point out what is BEHIND their BLIND SPOT. At this point in our conversation, it’s necessary to talk about the COST of not dealing with the thing that is in their BLIND SPOT.
If you’re driving your car and failed to identify another car in your BLIND SPOT, you can get into an accident. You fail to see the car in the right lane and turn right and WHAM! The accident could cause a minor fender-bender; or it may cost someone their life.
In the case of life-coaching, the BLIND SPOT is often a different matter. By not seeing what’s behind your BLIND SPOT in life, you will continue to make the same choices you have made in the past that have yielded the same failed results. Ironically, the more you fail, the more mysterious your BLIND SPOT becomes.
Therefore, the COST of not dealing with what’s behind your BLIND SPOT, is being STUCK at the place in life that you reside. If this is okay with you, then there’s no need to seek coaching.
How Does Coaching Help You With Your BLIND SPOT?
If I were standing outside your car while you were driving, it’s easy for me to see the car that is just behind you on your right; but it’s impossible for you to see this same vehicle. So, it doesn’t take a professional coach to SEE your BLIND SPOT. All it takes is a good friend to point something out to you that you can’t see. Then WHY PAY A COACH to tell you the same thing any rookie could point out?
A Professional Coach has two things going for him/her: 1) they have most likely traveled the road you are traveling and know how to navigate the obstacles you will face; and 2) they have been professionally trained to help you change your thinking. The first item is simply experience that can help you navigate what I call the mechanical pieces of what you need to accomplish. To continue with the ‘car’ analogy, item #1 may look something like, “you need to turn and look twice to make sure no car is in your blind spot.” Item #1 is instructional and educational. It’s the type of help you will get from a mentor, teacher, consultant or someone with more experience and expertise than you.
The second item is deceptive. You see, if you have a BLIND SPOT, you have a certain way of THINKING that you are completely unaware of until someone points it out to you. Not only does someone need to point out your BLIND SPOT, but they need you to change your point of view, so that you gain clarity any time you are required to process the same thoughts again.
A BLIND SPOT Story
James met with his rival restaurant owner across town, Max. James had always admired Max’s success in the restaurant business. Even more, James admired the way Max had the ability to spend time at home on weekends and even busy Friday nights. James was struggling to get even a 4-hour block of time where someone from his restaurant didn’t need his input.
James asked Max, “How do you do it, Max? How do you manage to succeed in the restaurant business, and still spend time with your family on the weekends?”
Max responded, “James, you need to get the right people and tell them what to do. You get walked on all the time by your staff.”
James tried Max’s suggestion, but could not get his employees to take responsibility. Just when he’d turn his back, his staff would start slacking and he’d have to get involved once again. After a few more meetings with Max, it was apparent that Max’s advice wasn’t working for James; and so James decided he would call Jane, a Business Coach, to help him solve his problem.
James explained his problem to Jane, “I want to spend more time at home. I know it’s possible because Max is doing it, but I can’t seem to do it with my LAZY staff.”
Jane asked, “What makes you think your staff is LAZY?”
James replied, “Every time I tell my staff to do something, they screw it up; or they ignore what I told them.”
“If you were one of your employees, what could your boss say that would motivate you to do a great job?”
“It wouldn’t matter what my boss said. I’d do a good job because I didn’t want to be fired.”
“How many of your employees have you fired because they did a poor job?”
James frowned, “I guess I haven’t fired any of my employees. I wouldn’t be able to find any other employees to replace them, so why bother?”
Jane responded, “What different motivation technique could you use besides threatening your employees with losing their job?”
James thought for a while and then responded, “I suppose I could connect additional compensation to their ability to take on greater responsibilities.”
After several coaching sessions, James was able to take weekends off because his staff started responding to his motivation techniques that created a more self-sufficient staff that would take responsibility when James was not present in the restaurant. It was amazing that James was able to change his behavior by changing his perspective through impactful coaching sessions with Jane.
Jane was able to help James see his employees differently and literally change the way he thought about his LAZY employee problem. Before Jane arrived on the scene, James had all but given up on changing the way his employees reacted to his commands. Even with Max’s advice, James could not see his BLIND SPOT.
As a business coach, I work with business owners to help them see things differently. After they are aware of how their thinking can be changed; they change their thinking… then their behavior… and then achieve results they had once thought impossible. If you are a business owner and want to learn how to expand your thinking about your business challenges, I’d love to talk with you to see if I may be able to help. Simply complete the contact form below to set up an introductory phone call.
Note from the Author
My name is Jeff Schuster. I am a certified Life and Business Coach serving small business owners, corporate executives and others who want to transition from “expert” to “entrepreneur”. I have been a small business owner for most of my 30-years in the workplace. I grew an energy efficiency and renewable energy engineering and construction company from nothing to over $10-million/year and sold it in 2013. I now help other business owners make amazing progress toward their own dreams of business ownership independence and success.