Rhonda and I were on our way back from a most excellent marriage retreat in the Smokies near Asheville. We and two other couples had piled into our white Lumina van and were headed back home. Interstate 40 through the Smokies has wide sweeping turns and there are endless miles of sweeping vistas. It had been a helpful time for all of us, and I will confess that as the driver, I was a bit distracted as we shared our experiences. My distraction would prove to be the key to what happened next.
At some point in the mountains, I changed lanes. I thought my lane was clear and that I could make the change with no problems. I was wrong about that. One of the guys in the back of the van spoke up, “Kevin, I think you just ran a guy off the road.” I quickly glanced in the rear view mirror and there was a big cloud of churning dust on the road’s shoulder. Thankfully, I saw a nice little BMW recover out of the dust cloud and right itself back into our lane of traffic. I breathed a sigh of relief and turned my full attention back to the road ahead of me.
A few seconds later, my friend said, “Kevin, that guy is coming up on us really fast!” The BMW swerved in front of us and flashed his lights repeatedly; he clearly wanted us to pull over to “discuss” the matter. I’ll save what happened next for another post; I will tell you no charges were pressed and no blood was shed.
The whole incident shook me up. From that day forward, I vowed to NEVER change lanes without 1. checking my mirrors; 2. signaling my intention; 3. and checking my proverbial blind spot. Since then, I’ve changed lanes thousands of times; to the best of my knowledge I have ALWAYS followed this safety routine. I encourage my family to do the same. I’ve been known to raise my voice to get my point across.
What’s hiding in your blind spot? Your blind spots can kill you.
Your blind spots can be fatal on the road, but they can kill you in your personal life and your business life, too. As Clint Eastwood said, “a man’s got to know his limitations.”
Ever heard of the “Johari Window?” Developed in the late 1950’s by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham, the window helps us see what we can’t see. Here’s an illustration of the Johari Window our design team at Wax Family developed for you.
Take a close look at the upper right hand window pane.
You have blind spots; everybody does. So, how do we protect ourselves from a potential “blind spot” disaster? Well, if you’re driving a car, you can use your mirror, signal your intent and then look over your shoulder to actually see what’s in your blind spot. It’s not quite that easy in your personal/business life. As I think back on that fateful day in the Smokies, I realize I failed to use another key safety principle. I could have and should have asked my friends to tell me if there was anything in my blind spot.
Who are you asking “what’s hiding in my blind spot?”