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Unlocking the People Puzzle



Awareness Advantage Podcast
Unlocking the People Puzzle

Kevin McCarthy, and Likky Lavji

The following is a summary of this episode of the Awareness Advantage podcast. Each week, bestselling Blind Spots authors Kevin McCarthy and Likky Lavji and a studio audience of managers and senior leaders throughout North America discuss overcoming blind spots to develop and lead high-functioning, high-trust teams and organizational cultures. If you would like to be invited to join the live virtual studio audience, click here

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The Awareness Advantage virtual Leadership Forum and audio podcast is all about facilitating authentic conversations with leaders just like you. We aim to help you discover what it takes to go from being a good manager, to being a great leader who inspires others to do their best. We are joined by leaders who have made these changes in their own lives and businesses, and how they've grown from being managers into incredible and great leaders.

You've all heard the statement right that people don't leave organizations…they leave managers.

 “Of all the codes Gallup has been asked to crack dating back 80 years to [its] founder, George Gallup, the single most profound, distinct and clarifying finding – ever – is probably this one: 70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager.”

At Blind Spots Global, based on our combined human behavior research over the past thirty years, we believe Gallup’s profound discovery is due to one blind spot - possibly the most significant blind spot - a lack of awareness of self and others.

 What is a Blind Spot?

We all have blind spots. Blind Spots are hidden biases, limiting beliefs, and thinking errors that cloud perception, drive destructive behaviors, and impair decision-making--the idea that we don't know what we don't know. What can we do to uncover and shine a light on our blind spots, so that we don't have to allow our blind spots to manage us, and to put us into situations that we later regret or hold us back from being who we want to be or getting where we want to go.

We all have different abilities, different characteristics. Perhaps we know ourselves, but, how do we know what other people's Blind spots are? Well, we have developed a 3 minute Blind Spot Assessment. Almost immediately, you will know what your style is, a Competitor, Motivator or a Peacemaker or an Analyzer–and you can ask your family, and team to take the assessment as well. 

The 4 Main Styles:


If you are a more fast paced, direct person, who is a more task oriented, (even a little bit more guarded) person, you're a competitor. Competitors are driven for results and they want to win at all costs. Competitors can be very decisive. They don't always have the right answer, but they'll always have an answer! They're focused competitors, and always trying to solve problems and challenges–and getting results.



If you are fast paced and direct, but more people oriented, and a little bit warmer or open, you are a motivator. Motivators live for expression and they love to tell stories. They're very optimistic people, oftentimes the life of the party, the motivators love lots of friends, lots of connections. They're all about people and contacts. Motivators also like to chase shiny objects and may change interests quickly. 



If you a little bit slower-paced and a little bit more indirect and guarded but still task oriented, then you would be who is known as an Analyzer. Analyzers live for rules and accuracy. They're gonna dot their “i”s and cross their “t”s. Analyzers  double check and then triple-check, their work and yours. Analyzers are known for being very cautious and and they're focused on procedures and constraints.



If you are slower paced and have a little bit more indirect style, and are more of a people person… someone who is more open and a little bit more warm, then you are a Peacemaker.. Peacemakers live for harmony. They're all about team. Peacemakers are very patient people, they're very steady and appreciate pace and consistency.


Wait – I am a mix of these!

Yes, there's actually 8 styles. The 4 above are what we call the primary styles, and the other 4 are the blended styles. Yet, when you study and understand the primary styles you'll automatically start to see the blends, because the truth is, most people are not just one style. 

Left Unaware

If we're left unaware, we will tend to gravitate towards our natural style, but because we are learning and growing and becoming more and more aware in the moment, (not just self-aware, but aware in the moment), we're able to move in and out of different styles and adapt our temperament to other temperaments, so that we can actually connect. Being aware allows us to have better communications and build better relationships.


Working with Others

Think about the people you work with and the people with whom you're associated. Can you figure out what their style is? Are they fast-paced or slow-paced? Task- or people-oriented.


Here is an example. Think about a car salesman. A person drives into a dealership and the salesperson looks at their car and says, Wow! What a great car. I see you've got a Thule roof rack on the top of the car, and the guy says “Yeah, you know, we were traveling across America, and we had an incredible time. We stopped off at all these different places and had my bikes up here, and I had the skis going on there. We did some hiking….” and he keeps on telling stories about the trip. That guy is likely a Motivator.

However if the man had answered a little bit more differently and said “Yeah, I’ve got the Tully roof rack with T-track system and this actually holds bikes and up to 300 lbs…in other words very detail oriented” Well, you know they are most likely a detailed-oriented Analyzer.

By understanding the temperament as soon as they walked in, an aware salesman would know how to work with their new customer. A Motivator will be interested in stories about the car and what it could do or where it could take them. If they are a detail person—an Analyzer, they would be most interested in how much horsepower the car has and what the gas mileage is.


Self-Awareness is a Journey

Just think about self-awareness as a journey, (and we're all on that journey!) Starting today. It started with this conversation today, but what happens now? How do we become more aware of our own temperaments and our own actions in the moment? How can you use this self-awareness to be a better leader?

Great managers are the most incredible leaders, and a leader actually inspires others. It's how you inspire them to want to do things and get things done properly the way they want to get things done. What makes an incredible leader is someone who makes the effort to become a little bit more aware and put aside some of those beliefs that they have about themselves. They show up authentically, and that’s how they start to inspire people.


Raising your self-awareness and emotional intelligence will make you a better leader. High self-awareness equips you to identify and conquer the blind spots that lead to poor decisions, strained relationships and high levels of stress. Awareness is the leader’s superpower that drives engagement, inspires retention and shifts culture. Awareness gives you the advantage you need to influence and inspire the people you lead.


If you would like to know more about how self-awareness makes a better leader, download our latest podcast.




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