It’s humorous until it happens to you. You become aware of a weak point, either because someone pointed it out to you or you became aware of it yourself. You’re all excited by the discovery, only to realize you are the last one to know. Everyone else is like, “Duh, we always knew that about you.”

It might be the discovery that you are tooWe love ourselves too much to see ourselves accurately assertive or too passive. It might be that you suddenly realize that you take on too much or too little. It might be the realization that you don’t make room for others in their life or you make too much room. Either way, it feels like the discovery of the century until it hits you that others noticed it all along.

It’s called a blindspot. We all have one, if not more. We love ourselves too much to see ourselves accurately. G‑d, in his kindness, sometimes shows us a mirror in the form of other people with the same character defect, giving us a chance to recognize it in ourselves as well. Another way to discover it is by deep and honest stock-taking of ourselves. It is sometimes helpful to have a coach reflect it to us.

For someone in a position of mentorship, it is a necessity—not a luxury—to be aware of his or her own blindspot. As the previous Rebbe writes in “Principles of Education and Guidance,” the first step of a counselor in preparing for this highly responsible and holy work is introspection. He must examine himself more seriously than a private individual.

As a coach, you will almost surely need to make your protégés aware of their own blindspots. In order to do that effectively, you need to be aware of yours.

As driving teachers are known to say: “If you want to avoid crashing, don’t forget to check your blindspot!”

Self-Reflection: Have you done an inner “inventory” to uncover your blindspot?

Source: “The Principals of Education and Guidance,” Chapters 3 and 5