The most important question you can ask your boss

“What are my blind spots?”; gives you new perspective, avoids danger and might help you with the 2nd most important question for your boss..

As an over-achiever you’ll be trying to please all the people all the time, and this simply isn’t possible. Your boss is the only person that has a unique perspective on how well you are achieving this. If there are key relationships you are not managing well she will hear about this; if it’s not a key relationship then chances are she either hasn’t heard any “noise” or you don’t need to worry about it. [paragraph 1 of 5]

In organisations with flat structures you will have limited 1:1 time with your boss and a high number of peers. This works well in mature leadership environments and hinges on how well people collaborate and accept feedback. If you thrive in this set up then you will excel at building relationships but get a sneak peak from the helicopter once in a while; the answers may surprise you. [2/5]

“He was too close to the detail” or “didn’t see the wood for the trees” are expressions often used to describe an A-type driver that gets things done but missed something vital in the proverbial “bigger picture”. Never forget the importance of building relationships and taking people with you. You won’t get this right every time, so ask for help then act on it. [3/5]

Blind spots can be other issues in the workplace that you just missed along the way. Running IT teams and developing software under pressure always incurs technical debt, but you may need other, more technical people to help you spot this and either repay it or prevent it in future. Your management style, knowledge of the business, presentation style, thought leadership and even responsiveness to emails could all be examples of blind spots. [4/5]

It’s also a great question because it demonstrates your willingness to accept constructive feedback. Just like driving a car, blind spots are only dangerous when you don’t check them; this is also part of thoughtful action. Such a discussion wouldn’t be complete without considering the 2nd most important question for your boss, most likely the inevitable “can I have a raise?” [5/5]

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