Blind Spots: Achieve Success by Seeing What You Can't See Review

Blind Spots: Achieve Success by Seeing What You Can't See
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As Claudia Shelton explains in the Preface, the material in her book is organized around "three simple focuses": guidance to the development of the perspective and mindset necessary to "see things about yourself that you previously couldn't see" (i.e. blind spots), strategies to help convert these blind spots into strengths on which to build success, and provision of a set of tools "to help identify personal information about one's specific blind spots." I appreciate Shelton's skillful use of several reader-friendly devices such as the statement of a key concept for each of the chapters which comprise one of the six Sections. For example, for Section Four, these are "The Strategies for Clear Sight":
Chapter 11: Identify what you do best in a "Statement of Strengths"
Chapter 12: Check counter-productive habits using an "Old Habits Blind Spots Grid"
Chapter 13: Convert stress into a positive source of energy
Chapter 14: "Tune your radar" to recognize non-verbal "clues" sent to others
Chapter 15: "Connect" more effectively with others to strengthen relationships
As these strategies correctly indicate, Shelton offers no head-snapping revelations (nor does she claims to offer any); in these and other chapters, she identifies the "what" and then devotes most of her attention to the "why" and "how." For that reason, she thoughtfully extensive material that can guide and inform a series of self-audits to help each reader determine the nature and extent of the gap between her or his current level or recognition and what is desired. In Chapter 15, for example, Shelton identifies and briefly discusses five of the most common causes of disconnection that include disengagement. That is, "not speaking clearly, not listening to what others have to say, [and] not providing useful feedback," any/all of which can prevent a convincing presentation of ideas. To paraphrase The Golden Rule, "Others will do unto you the way you tend to do unto them."
Many readers will be especially grateful for the Appendix that Shelton provides. In it, she offers brief descriptions of all recommended "tools"(with a handy page reference for each), a brief review of the five most common blind spots, and summary descriptions of nine models that comprise the "Blind Spots Profile." The ultimate objective is to develop the strengths while reducing (if not eliminating) the weaknesses of each, such as what Shelton rather clumsily characterizes as the "Optimistic Image-Oriented Producer" who tends to rend feelings first, is extroverted, is a high-energy multi-tasker who produces many projects valued by others but who can sometimes be disorganized and indecisive and, when under pressure, become distant (i.e. "disengaged") and thereby alienate others.
Make no mistake about it: What Shelton recommends in her book requires a full commitment of time, energy, and attention over an extended period of time, although those who carefully absorb and digest the material and then begin to identify their blind spots will immediately increase their understanding of themselves and probably of others, also. It is important to keep in mind that some blind spots are easier to recognize than others. Also, that certain revelations about one's self (i.e. one's inadequacies and their consequences, to date) will probably not be pleasant but are nonetheless especially important. Be grateful for having eliminated, finally, what have probably been the worst blind spots.
Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out Lynda Gratton Hot Spots: Why Some Teams, Workplaces, and Organizations Buzz with Energy - And Others Don't, Michael Useem `s The Go Point: When It's Time to Decide--Knowing What to Do and When to Do It by, Howard Gardner `s Five Minds for the Future, and Tom Rath's StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup's Now, Discover Your Strengths.

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