Have you ever considered your blind spots? No? Probably not, seeing as we are blind to them. What in the world are they, and how do they function; and, even more importantly, what can we do about them? Alright, let’s take a look.
What is a blind spot; and, how do they function?
You know what you know, right? Okay. Let me write it this way. You are aware of all those things that you know about, yes? Yes, good. How about those things that you know you don’t know. Yes? Good. Last one. How about those things that you don’t know you don’t know? Hm. A little different, right. Yep. That’s right. That’s your blind spot.
We all have them. And, they are all different. Meaning, that we all have different things that we don’t know we don’t know. Phew. A little semantical, I know. Hm. Let’s do a whiteboard real quick to show you. I also feel another video coming.
There we go, better. Let’s say that the circle encompasses all that is knowable. Got it, okay. Now, as you can see, the sections of that which we know we know, and know we don’t know, are much smaller than all that we don’t know we don’t know. A very important distinction. Why?
Because what this simple illustration shows, and what I am pointing to in this post is that there is a vast amount of information (knowing) that is available to all of us, yet is not accessible to most people. Why? Because that which we don’t know we don’t know lives in our blind spot. What can we do?
What can we do?
First, we can become aware. Check. Now what? Well, we can create access to those blind spots. How, you ask? By being open to those that we are surrounded by.
Yep. It is those people that surround us inside of an open communication system where we can learn about our blind spots. Important. Here is another whiteboard to illustrate.
What this whiteboard creates is an important distinction that I’ve written about quite extensively on this website, and in many other contexts. Relationships and the interdependent nature of those relationships equals collaboration; and collaboration is where the access is. Yep.
As a matter of fact, the Monday message that went out to the team I work with today, was all about relationships, and just how important they are in all of our lives.
It is through these relationships that we can gain access to our blind spots. Don’t have those kinds of relationships? That’s okay.
You can create them. Really. You can. Why wait. There are so many people on this planet that are interested in the things that you are interested in.
And, guess what?
You know things about your interest, and so will they. And, I can guarantee you that you will both learn from each other. Uncovering blind spots for each other along the way. No matter what the topic.
What we are discussing in this post has been written about for thousands of years. Here is an example.
“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” -Socrates (469-399 B.C.)Goalcast
I love this quote. There are many others like it, written similarly across all cultures. When we recognize that we know way less than there is to learn, and know, we immediately become open to new experiences, and new perspectives.
When we are open, and are in conversation and relationships with people that are interested in our growth, as we are in theirs, our blind spots are regularly pointed out. That is learning. It is the best kind of learning.
Ever heard of the socratic method? Here’s a snippet.
“In the Socratic method, the classroom experience is a shared dialogue between teacher and students in which both are responsible for pushing the dialogue forward through questioning.”Edited by CTL Associate Director Mariatte Denman
I too love this quote, however, I’m going to offer you a new way to think about it. Consider that the world is your classroom, and that everyone you meet, and are in relationships with can be the person that you share this kind of learning experience with. Truly.
When we are open, interested in learning from someone more than expounding on that which we know, we can learn something from almost anyone we meet.
Really. It is a beautiful experience.
Of course, we must be willing to, in a way, let go of that which we know. Let it go, and start listening, and taking in that which other people know. In the end, guess what? We end up knowing more. Yep.
When, however, we aren’t open, guess what? We get to keep that which we know, yes; yet, we miss out on the opportunity to add to that which we know. A truly missed opportunity.
My invitation to you
Don’t let those learning opportunities pass you by. Grab them while they are here. And, offer them back to those that you meet. For, they, like you, have something to learn from you.
We all have something to learn from each other. And, when we approach our relationships and interactions with that attitude. Phew. We can learn so much. You can learn so much. Start today.
Ask questions, listen, and believe. Believe in your ability to add to that which you know, and to contribute to someone else’s knowledge base. You can.
That is movement. Movement for yourself, for those you are in relationships with, and for all of humanity.
Learn, know, and reciprocate well.