You may already be acquainted with the Johari Window.

Johari Window blind spots diagram

If not, here’s a quick overview. You have four different kinds of strengths and weaknesses. Some are visible to everyone. Some are hidden to others but clear to you, or hidden to you but clear to others. The rest are totally invisible.

Self-Assessments Don’t Reveal Everything

Undoubtedly, you’ve taken self-assessments that shed light on many of your previous blind spots. Perhaps the DiSC helped you with understanding behavioral styles and the impact they have in the workplace, or CliftonStrengths showed you how to leverage strengths you did not know you had. But what about the things others can see that you cannot?

To see all these blind spots, you need more than a self-assessment or a talk with a coach or mentor. You need to hear from the people who work with you. That includes direct reports, peers, and superiors.

The trouble is getting these people to give you helpful answers. They will be too polite, or existing disagreements will strain the conversation, or you will only hear what you want to hear. Catching more than a glimpse of your blind spots is unlikely.

Getting Honest Answers with Qualitative Assessments

A qualitative assessment, where people are asked to share their honest feelings and opinions, requires facilitation from a neutral third party. SOLID can act as that party.

When people are given a chance to speak honestly in a safe environment, the truth comes to light. Better yet, it stays in the light. Blind spots are easy to see when a report shows that three-quarters of your team shares one opinion!

This kind of 360-degree assessment is included in many SOLID coaching engagements. If you are a bona fide CEO or senior executive, schedule a complimentary coaching session now to get the ball rolling.

Becoming a better leader is rarely easy, but always worth it.