How to Find and Fix Relationship Blind Spots

What’s your greatest weakness? Knowing it can become a strength. Get-It-Done Guy explains how to find and address the blind spots that can sabotage your relationships.
Stever Robbins
6-minute read
Episode #539

Start Relationships With a Risk Analysis

Since you listened to episode 513, you’re already having your process conversation at the start of a new relationship. 

For relationships where you and the other person must depend on each other, consider going deeper. Zombie recruit and supervillain is a symbiotic relationship, like teammates, or boss/subordinate. Or even like a romantic relationship or polycule.

For these deeper relationships, conduct a risk assessment.

Each person in the relationship should answer the following question: What is your blind spot? If the project or relationship were to fail because of you, what would be the most likely cause? 

Start with yourself, so you can set an example of honesty.

Here’s my real-life answer. If a project were to fail because of me, it would be because I get caught up in perfectionism. When 70% is good enough, I’ll shoot for 99%, and spend as much time getting from 70% to 99% as it took to get to 70% in the first place. 

My zombie recruit might answer, #@$&#&?&. (Translation: “If a project were to fail because of me, it would be because I have no higher brain functions and my limbs keep falling off.”)

Complement Each Other

Now that you know everyone’s blind spot, strategize ways to complement each other (that’s complement with an ‘E’). If my weak spot is perfectionism, my zombie recruit can be my judge of “good enough.” As soon as their … challenged … brain thinks my product is good enough, I’ll take that as an acceptable quality level. 

Since their weakness is an unfortunate lack of body cohesion, I can easily leave space in my backpack. If their body parts fall off during meetings, I can discreetly toss them in the backpack for the zombie to reattach later, in the privacy of their own office.

Your Tasks Illuminate Your Blind Spots

You might not know what your own blinds spots are. After all, they’re blind. Some self-reflection will help. The best way to figure this out is to examine your tasks. 

What kind of tasks never seem to get done around you? If you scan your task list for undone tasks, is there any pattern? Are the prospecting and sales tasks still not done? Is administrative paperwork still pending, six months later? Have you been saying “I really need to organize the folders on my desktop” for more than six years? These give you insight into your blind spots.

Possible Blind Spots to Address

Here’s a list of things that are everywhere in life. Everywhere. Most of us only notice some of these, however. Consider them. Any of these that you don’t notice are, by definition, blind spots.

Interpersonal considerations. How people react to what’s going on around them. How teams get along. How people treat each other. What emotional signals they send, intentionally or not.

Process considerations. Are things being done efficiently? Does the process make sense? Is it repeatable? 

Goals to be reached. Is there a clear vision that you’re working towards? Do you proceed with that vision in mind, always acting to take yourself in that direction? Visionary leaders and salespeople are very often goal-oriented, sometimes to the point of ignoring problems. If you doubt, check out either of the Fyre Festival documentaries on Netflix or Hulu. Billy and Ja Rule are goal-oriented.

Problems to be fixed. Do you notice what’s going wrong and get motivate to find solutions? Do you anticipate problems and take preventative actions? Watch the Fyre Festival documentary (again). Andy King is the kind of person who finds and fixes problems. Fixers can get so motivated by fixing problems that they create them, if there are none around to fix.

Quality. Some people are super-concerned about quality. They’ll happily hold up your company’s revenue for three months just to make sure that every I is dotted and every T is crossed. 

Deadlines. Other people are deadline-driven. The self-driving car is still accidentally targeting pedestrians when it goes through an intersection? Not a problem. We’ll just take out insurance. Now get that thing on the market in time for our Q2 analyst call. 

Under-confidence. Maybe you don’t really know what you’re capable of. So you don’t step up when you could do something amazing and incredible. 

Over-confidence. Perhaps you are really confident. About everything. Especially things you thought of. Whether or not you were qualified to think of those things. Like, rocket science. Or brain surgery. Or brain surgery on a rocket ship. You saw it in a movie so how hard can it be?

Strive for Mutual Success

At the end of the day, it’s about combining skills and talents so the relationship lifts you both up. Do a standard relationship pre-mortem to make sure you know the best way to work together. Then if it seems appropriate, get vulnerable. Share your blind spots with each other, and find ways to cover for each other as necessary. Then you can stride confidently (or, if you’re a zombie, shamble incoherently) into a successful future together.

I’m Stever Robbins. Follow GetItDoneGuy on Twitter and Facebook. If you’re an entrepreneur, self-employed or otherwise need to control your own time, Get-it-Done groups help you start finishing what’s important, and develop the habits you need to be hyper-productive. Learn more at https://www.getitdonegroups.com.

Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!

Professional colleagues image courtesy of Shutterstock.


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.