Here’s How to Overcome Your Professional Blindspots

Photo Credit: Big Stock/NejroN Photo

Lifehacker recently posted a seriously motivating piece, “Don’t Let Your Professional Shortcomings Hold You Back at Work.” Excuse me? What professional shortcomings, you say? We all have them, whether we want to acknowledge them or not. Thinking about how you might be deficient or lacking as a professional is never a fun exercise. But, luckily, BULLIT is here to make that tough pill easier to swallow.

Let’s start with the “professional shortcoming” premise. What does that mean? Does everyone have a shortcoming? The author, Emily Triplett Lentz, writes

“Unless you’ve reached enlightenment, chances are you have at least a few unidentified, unaddressed shortcomings (often referred to as “blind spots,” though I prefer the term “derailers” because it’s a less ableist way to connote shortcomings large enough to cause your career to slide off track). The further we advance in our careers, the less these derailers have to do with “hard skills” and the more likely they’re personal and behavioral in nature.”

A “hard skill” blind spot is a more appealing shortcoming because it’s easier to tackle. Don’t know how to make a pivot table? Google it. Want to brush up on your social media tactics? Also Google it. But what do you do when your shortcoming is a soft skill, as Lentz suggests will likely be the case the further you get in your career?

Here’s how BULLIT can help. By asking those who know you for anonymous feedback, you can shine a light on those blind spots you’ve been missing, and start to tackle those soft skills the way you would a pivot table. Start by inviting those you know to rate you on our six-attribute soft skills measurement: your contacts will weigh in on your Brains, Urgency (how well you meet deadlines and get things moving on track), Leadership, Logic (how well you work through problems), Imagination, and Trustworthiness. They’ll also be able to provide more context to your BULLIT score by writing in the comments what they see as your strengths and potential blind spots. Beyond this, the information is totally anonymous.

Then, as Lentz points out, it’s up to you what you want to do with that information. As she suggests, you should start by responding to your BULLIT reviews — thank them for taking the time to give you their insight, and then agree or disagree with their comment and reply back to anything you find interesting.

Of course, BULLIT also gives you the ability to hide any reviews you disagree with or wish not to show, regardless of your reasoning. But Lentz writes — and we agree — that there’s value in acknowledging the bad with the good:

“This is the hard part: Once you’ve learned what your derailers are, you’ve got to act in some way that honors the people who were brave and honest with you. (Otherwise, good luck ever getting honest feedback again.) Commit to action. Share your plans for change with those around you so they can help hold you accountable.”

The easiest way to hold yourself accountable to improving on your shortcomings? Don’t hide your reviews on BULLIT, and show off your score as it improves. Because our system is so simple and quick to use, you can feel comfortable asking for feedback regularly without placing much burden on your contacts. And, you can see how your score changes as you put more effort into growing in ways you never knew you could (or should). Eventually, you can go back to worrying about pivot tables with the confidence that you have a handle on the other tough stuff that may be holding you back in your career.

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