In Art Of Coaching Podcast

Every year we hear people utter the phrase “New Year, New You” before launching into a series of nuanced forms of goal setting.

While optimism is great, looking ahead without knowing how to identify blind spots that lurk around the corner sets us up to be ambushed.

But what is a blind spot? How can you identify one?

Most importantly, how does both too much optimism and too much cynicism potentially lead us down a path of self-sabotage?

What if I told you there’s a more realistic tool we can use in order to enhance how we interact in groups, and with our goals?

Today, we’re talking about this and more.

Also – if you haven’t been to yet, do so now!

Believe me, we’ll be uncovering more about this exciting project soon, and you won’t want to miss out!

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Brett Bartholomew  00:00

The more you do insulate yourself, and the more you don’t even try to do something, right, that’s an issue, right. To get ahead in anything, you’ve got to get started and you’ve got to get feedback. And this is a big reason why blind spots collectively, are really areas of unrecognized self evolution. So if somebody even comes up to me and says, hey, you know, I want to build a brand, or I want to make an impact, or what have you. I mean, that usually comes and shout out to my friend Colin Butterfield for when we were talking about this, that usually comes after evolution, right, self improvement, or what have you. If you go out and you try to build a brand or try to do something before you really address your blind spots. You’re kind of setting yourself up, you’re setting yourself up.


Brett Bartholomew  00:58

Welcome to the Art Of Coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom, and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew, I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book Conscious Coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior and communication. I want to thank you for joining me. And now let’s dive into today’s episode.


Brett Bartholomew  01:32

Happy New Year, everyone. It is so good to have you back. And if you’re just joining us, and this is the first time you’ve ever listened to the Art Of Coaching podcast, and let me be the first to welcome you, regardless of whether you’re a regular or you’re simply here through the recommendation of a friend. We keep it candid here at Art Of Coaching. And as we kick off 2021, we’re going to continue to hold true to our approach of diving into topics that are often swept under the rug in the world of leadership coaching, and self improvement. 

Our show, put frankly, is for those who are looking for both an edge and honesty, it’s for those who aren’t caught up looking for a celebrity advice, because they’d rather just hear what the crafty underdogs who have gotten their hands dirty over the years have done to beat the odds. And in truth, it’s simply for those who are tired of the same old leadership BS, they tend to hear everywhere else. I mean, I was doing some research this weekend for a different project. And did you know that and this changes every day, right? So if there’s a fact checker out there, cut me some slack. 

But at the time that I was checking this, there are over 60,000 titles with respect to books on Amazon, that have the word leadership in them, over 60,000. And that increases every single day, that you think about the landscape of self improvement coaching leadership and there’s so much out there, that everybody’s being honest, and everybody’s being forthright, and everybody’s got the answer, then why do we struggle so much. And that’s a topic that we’ll uncover. And we really have talked about throughout the course of a lot of episodes, and my own work, but trust me, we’re going to continue to get into that. But there’s just a lot of BS out there. And so, you know, true to form. 


Brett Bartholomew  03:08

Let’s get into just that. And today’s topic is simple. After a year, where many of us have had at least one or more of our blind spots exposed, how do we adapt and move forward? And I’m starting off this way, because I know your friends favorite podcast is probably saying New Year, New You. Or yeah, this year, we’re really going forward and we’re grateful and we’re thankful for the lessons of the past. Okay, like we could talk about that for six minutes. Or we could just get into how we need to move forward and not get caught up in a lot of that because it’s great tests and feel good Juju. 

But it’s more important to have a strategy and just to continue to call it like we see it, right? And so the easy answer is to be grateful for the lessons and you should be, but that’s not good enough. The real answer is that we have to get better at identifying and defining a blind spot to begin with, because I know it’s 2021. But guess what, it’s a year, it’s just a number. 

Guys, it’s a number, it doesn’t mean that all of a sudden there’s, everything has changed, and you’re gonna be good and your fortunes have turned. If you continue to do things the same way no matter how things went for you in 2020. You’re gonna get stagnant in some regard. I mean, you are, you know, and so we’re going to talk about a few of these things here. And just as a virus can’t be fought most effectively, if we don’t understand its origins, the same is true to a degree with behavioral intervention. 


Brett Bartholomew  05:49

So what is a blind spot? Well, you’re going to hear a lot of definitions of this. But according to the author of a series of management publications, which many of you likely know, John Maxwell, blind spots are situations where people do not see things or themselves realistically, and thus they become harmful to themselves and others with respect to the decisions or lack thereof that they make. Now, that doesn’t have to be somebody that’s in a tough situation. I know individuals that have friends that are in coaching and they’ve been in very secure jobs for a long time and within their ecosystem everything is very structured, very safe, very secure, right? They have their salary, they may have a vehicle that they get to use for the company, they have a plan. But then when things change their life erupts. And now all of a sudden, like, well, what do we do now? 

But the issue is, is these people that are in stable and safe positions oftentimes don’t recognize these things early enough, they don’t think about it, they look at all the other crazy entrepreneurs or people out there kind of adapting or what have you. And they’re like, Thank God, that’s not me, at least I got this. But I would submit this guys we live now in a time of emergent change, right? We don’t live in an industrial age, we don’t live in the information age, we live in what’s called the networked age. And I’m not talking about networking, like at a conference, I’m talking about everything is interconnected, right, and everything is going to change so much more rapidly than we’re used to. 

So no matter what job you’re in, what position you’re in, you have blind spots, no matter what your financial situation is, whether you, you know, have been, you’ve had a stable job for a long time, you’ve maxed out your 401K, your wife or husband has a great job, or if you’re somebody that’s like got student loan debt, out the years, you know, these things all change, and are gonna continue to put us in different situations that we’re gonna have to make decisions on daily, do we stay in this role? Do we not? Does this stay the same? Does it not? Is our liquidity fluid? Is that going to change? 

And so when we’re dealing with change, and if you don’t understand your blind spot, it’s easy to just get stuck looking at what is ahead. And your blind spots can’t be put in a vacuum into just one category. We have blind spots in every area of life, no matter how secure you may seem. And also there are compounding and the negative effects they can have on others, just as positive actions have a trickle down effect. And where do they come from? Well, a variety of places, but the reality is that’s not really the question we want to ask. It’s more of a matter of how do they form to begin with? How can we, no matter if we’re in a great situation, a trying situation, how can we see what’s around the corner, see what lies just outside of our periphery, just in time, so that we can leverage it. 


Brett Bartholomew  07:55

Because if you recognize your blind spot, they become a strength, it becomes an edge. If you don’t, and you’re just you’ve convinced yourself that you don’t have any, or you just gotta focus on the now or what have you, that’s when they can snake bite you. I mean, I’ll give you a very personal example. And I think I’ve alluded to this before, but for anybody that’s just listening. Ironically, everything that saved us, us being Art Of Coaching, the company that my wife and I have founded, during the pandemic, was built off of things that I never wanted to do, never wanted to do. 

And I’ll explain but when I say never wanted to do, I’m going to go even further and say I had a bias against or a strong disdain. If you don’t know me yet. I started my career as a strength and conditioning coach and a purist when at doubt. All I wanted to do is coach athletes, you’d show up at the crack of dawn, you’d coach your groups, you train, just I mean, I’m obsessed, and I still am, to a degree with human performance and all these things you love the aspect of coaching and leading and shaping young men and women and getting them ready for some of the most impactful moments of their life. And in doing so also helping them overcome other obstacles in their life. 


Brett Bartholomew  09:44

Because training is just a tool to teach other people what they’re capable of. But at that time, both have a reflection of my own beliefs and values. And the ones that were instilled in me and people that I worked under. I didn’t want to ever be on social media, I certainly never wanted a podcast, I never imagined I would have any online courses, I did want to write a book, I knew I wanted to do that before I died. I didn’t want to have any kind of like mastermind group or collective. I didn’t want to do any of that. I just wanted my life to be simple. I wanted my life to be simple. And I’m from Omaha, Nebraska. I still very much love this simple things. 

But as years went on, and as you have life experiences, your blind spots start to change your biases. I’ll never forget the time where’, okay, my wife and I knew we wanted to have a family. And here was the erosion of one such bias. And, you know, I had worked for a company for a period of time, and we needed more money if we were going to start a family, we just did and I never got into my profession for the money. That was never a desire of mine. But now if we wanted to have get married, and we want to have kids, it was a matter of yeah, this this has to be a reality that I remember not only could I not get that to happen, because just in strength conditioning, it’s not a very lucrative field and you don’t always have a lot of wiggle room. It’s what led me to go on and create courses about how to better negotiate because there’s things I learned over time. 

But I remember even when I had the opportunity to speak because I had focused it on a skill in my career and now I had opportunities to speak, right opportunities to get paid externally and supplement that income, I couldn’t do it. And I remember having a very frank conversation, where I was essentially told that even if I did do something, that company owned my work. So that was a wake up call number one, I can be in the job that I love the one that I’m passionate about all these things, all I want, then I can be focused on the craft and not in it for the money. But at some point, you know, good intentions and guilt don’t pay the bills. 

Now, when I started finding out like how much of my career other people owned, and how that took away from the main thing I wanted to do, that was my own inattentional blindness, my own blind spot that got me into that situation, I had known the science of training, the physiology, the biomechanics, I had known even the art of coaching, but what I didn’t understand was the business realities of my career. And I think no matter whether you’re a lawyer, you’re a police officer, you’re a nurse, you’re a doctor, or you’re a general contractor, you can appreciate this, there comes a time, where you start to really, oh, that’s the business side, I get that. And so that was a blind spot. 

And so eventually, you know, I go on to write a book, and I start to learn how to do some other things. And I still have these other, I don’t really want to be on social media, but you know, I do it because I want to connect with people. And it’s important to kind of be transparent. And I think a lot of it was, you know, I would complain about charlatans that I would see, so I felt like, alright, well, you know, you’re gonna don’t complain about the dark if you’re not going to light candles. So I tried to put out useful information there. And eventually, over the course of time, guys, that led to the fact that I’ll never forget when my friend Dana Matej said, you should start a podcast, I said, well, nobody wants to listen to that. Nobody cares what I have to say, we did that, we built a bigger community, we had a mastermind, we built a bigger community, we built online courses that built a community

And then I started looking around, it was like, okay, these things are extensions of the things that I love. But I also learned to see them in a new light in the past, those were all things that I associated with selling out, those were all the things that I associated with, you know, just not focusing in on your job, and I had to battle a lot of people in my field to do that still do. 


Brett Bartholomew  12:15

There’s so a lot of people that think that if you build a brand, or want to scale your impact that you’re selling out, you know, now that’s odd, nobody, not very many people would look at a woman who loves to make wonderful gloves and sweaters and coats and decides to open a store on Main Street USA to do that, right. We look at that as a small business, a family owned business. And we support that, even though you could argue, excuse me, that individual in the light of some of these people is selling out because they’re trying to expand their brand, and build their influence in terms of providing a service guys, right. So that was an example of some of my blind spots. 

My blind spots were rooted in my pride, my naivete, and my opinions about things that I had not yet experienced. But when I realized how little control I had over my own career, my own intellectual property, my own family’s goals, my own ability to be able to adapt during uncertain times, we shifted, and we said, is it really selling out if you provide valuable content? And we don’t think it is, right. But the point is we did all these things just in the nick of time, and I’d love to tell you that I’m a soothsayer where I knew this was coming. I didn’t, right. 

But these were the things that kept us afloat during the pandemic, the podcast, right? The sponsorships, the stuff that we do with our online courses, all these other pieces, because we were ready for it. Where if I would have just stayed a purist, and I would have let those blind spots rule my life, because we could have been fine. I mean, we would have made a living that was comfortable and what have you, but there already always would have been this sense of, well, what do we not know? What’s the unknown out there? What’s the blind self and the blind spot and all the other things that could rear its ugly head If we’re not really pragmatic about this? 

And that starts to get really scary to consider. It really does. If you think of anything in your life that the unknown unknown the pieces out there that and I’m not asking you to be a doomsday prepper that’s not what this is about. Alright, so let’s get practical. 


Brett Bartholomew  16:53

One of the most useful tools for this and I do mean it’s an incredibly useful tool is what is called the Johari window. Now, the Johari window is really simple, and this is one of the most useful techniques for discovering blind spots. It was created in 1955 by a gentleman named well, two gentlemen Joseph Luft, and Harry Ingham. Again, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, and here’s why you want to know this right? The whole point of it was used to not only better help people identify blind spots, but also help people understand themselves and how they’re perceived by others. Now, think about that. 

Why does that matter when it comes down to blind spots? Do you think the way that we perceive of ourselves and the way we’re perceived by others in any way, shape or form, can impact the opportunities we get, the feedback we get, the level of honesty we even receive from those that we respect, of course. And if we want to be able to overcome blind spots, if we want to make sure we can set ourselves up for the future successfully, whatever that looks like to you, you better have that level of self awareness. 

So, you know, you might have heard about this before. But in case you haven’t, it’s just a critical tool. It’s one that we’ve used a lot in Art Of Coaching and we continue to adapt and use in different ways. Because we found it to be beneficial with all the professionals that we work with. Now, let’s solidify and get more specific with the language here. The Johari window is based on the premise that trust can be acquired when you’re working in groups, by disclosing information about yourself to others, and also learning from feedback. Alright, and that can come from feedback from your own actions, your own behaviors, the projects, the things that you put out into the world, or what have you. 

The exercise in particular helps us see how we are in context and who we are in context. Because remember, we don’t see things how they are, that’s an innate human bias, right? We tend to see things as we are, we paint the world in this way. We had a previous episode where we talked about why so many great leaders and coaches and givers, let’s just say givers out there feel bad about charging for their time. And it’s really not a huge mystery. 


Brett Bartholomew  16:53

A lot of people, myself included, have gone through periods, or still do in some respects, of charge feeling bad charging for their time. But when you look at the root of this, it’s because a lot of times they feel like well, It’s imposter phenomenon, I’m not quite sure it’s good enough, or, you know, there’s just unhealthy attitude towards money. Or maybe you feel like you’re not really confident about the financial matters and how to price your time, you don’t want to seem like you’re screwing anybody, but you don’t have this clear cut way to figure out what your time is worth. And if that is the case for you, we have a previous episode on that, we’ll make sure to link it in the show notes. 

But this is a blind spot in and of itself, right. So we want to know who we are in context and how we deal with things. And really, the Johari window includes four dimensions or window panes, that can help you do this. Now I’m gonna go through these slowly. And if you want a visual of these, you can find them online. But we’ve crafted a really unique one that you can shape, you can use with your staff, you can use at home, it’s expanded, it’s updated. If you just go to, give us your email, we’ll be able to kind of update you and we’ll show you what we’re doing there. 

But it includes four dimensions, right, an open window, a blind window, a hidden window, and an unknown window. And it’s called a window. Because you’ll see when you look this up, that it essentially looks just like a square with four different sections. And these are like window panes, right. In certain scenarios in life, these are more open or more closed. So if you imagine a square, and you think at the top or this matrix, so to speak, there’s what’s known to others. And there’s what’s known to yourself, Okay, there’s what’s known to others, and known to yourself. 

So in the open self part of the Johari Window. This is something that is known to both you and others. So for example, you guys know that I have a podcast and I know I have a podcast. If you’ve met me before in person, you know that I have brown hair and a beard. And I know that I have brown hair and a beard. If you have observed me coaching or running a workshop, you know generally about who I’ve coached and who I’ve worked with and what have you and I know those things, you know that I’m married on the 100th episode, my wife join me, I know I’m married, you know, I’m married. That’s an example of the open window. And this is going to be the example context, you can use it as a close friendship. And I know you’re thinking duh, but just stay with me. So that open self is what you know about you, and what you also openly share through self disclosure. 


Brett Bartholomew  21:50

Now, I mentioned a lot of attributes and background stuff. It can also be about statements or opinions, you’ve made, imagery shared on social media, your position and company, anything like that, right? And in general, in general. We want this to be as large as possible, because it means we’re open to other people and their feedback. And we can reduce our blind spots or the negative impact of blind spots when we are more open to people and their feedback. 

You know, I talked about how I got started, and a big part of their performance side of things, whether you’re talking about people that work directly with athletes as training conditioning coaches, sport coaches, or even in the sport science side, or what have you, but let’s just talk about performance. Because that was my background, is you have a lot of gatekeeping, you have sometimes people that would get pro sport jobs are highly coveted jobs. And they’re not very open to feedback. And I’ve talked about this before, sometimes our organization limits what they can share what have you. 

But even if it didn’t, there are a lot of people that will get in these jobs and just lock it down. Because they don’t want to kind of expose themselves to possible feedback that may look that, may make them look less than or that they’re not doing something correctly, we all have those insecurities, right. 


Brett Bartholomew  21:50

But sometimes when people enter highly coveted positions, they locked down and even more, because they’re not, they know that there’s going to be more criticism, and they don’t want to risk losing that job or that position. No different than if you have done something in your career and you’ve garnered the admiration of others, right? It could be an intern, it could be anybody. You sometimes, you’re gonna get like, if you respect that person, and hopefully you do, you don’t want to lose their faith and their trust. It feels good when somebody looks up to you for the right reasons, right? It feels good when you’re respected. 

And so but when you close down and you gatekeeping, you don’t share that information, you don’t open yourself to things, it gets tricky. And it’s very paradoxical. There are a lot of people who feel like if they are vulnerable, and they do have more, or a larger open window, that hurts them. And I would argue guys, now more than ever, it will help you. It will. And I get it. Again, if you’re relatively new to the show, that took me 16 years to talk about my hospitalization. Being in a hospital for more than a year in nearly losing my life. It was something I didn’t talk about. It was a stigmatized thing. I didn’t want to get into it. And then when I did, it was a big part of my book and a big reason why that went viral. And it’s still something today that I have a hard time grasping, but I appreciate it. Right. 


Brett Bartholomew  23:32

There’s also times on this podcast, I say things that are very frank, and I’ve talked about in the past, there’s been people that have said, hey, you know, are you not worried about repercussions and backlash? And I said, listen, here’s the reality. You know, there are many things you could say about me that are bad, right? Like I am far from a perfect person in many respects. But you always know where you stand with me. And you always know where I stand with things. And I’d like to think that in this world that still matters. So no, am I ever going to say anything perfect? Nah. Am I gonna always gonna have to say I have the perfect tweet or post on social media? No. Am I gonna have a book that’s perfectly written, and you’re gonna relate me approach? No. But you’re gonna know that until the day I’m gone and even when I’m gone, that I always brought it. 

And what I found is if I’m vulnerable, and I’m real, ironically, what’s happened is I’ve had more opportunities, I’ve been able to collaborate with more companies, because when you’re open more people get to see who you really are. And that is an invaluable commodity in today’s world, just being real, being real. I’m sorry, it is. And I know in other professions, in some situations, that’s not always the case. But generally, it’s a good thing to let people know where you stand. And that’s what builds buy-in. That is, it’s what builds buy-in. 

And that’s what is necessary for great teams, and to make sure that you don’t have the mistakes that you do, because I guarantee you, somebody’s listening, and you should not feel bad at all. It’s not a shaming thing. One of you that is listening knows that 2020 didn’t go your way in part because you weren’t vulnerable or open enough to a suggestion or feedback that you should have taken. 

And again, that’s not me calling you out. That’s just me saying, hey, there’s a real example there. I’ve been there too, right? We’ve all had suggestions we didn’t take we weren’t open to it. Right? You felt like I’m not quite ready. I’m scared of being judged. I’m fearful of being called out. I’m a perfectionist, and I don’t want to put it out into the world because it’s not good enough yet. And we’re going to talk about perfectionism in another episode. So that is the open self. Alright. 


Brett Bartholomew  29:24

Now another part of the Johari Window is what we call the blind self. Now, this is the classical blind spot. This is what you don’t know but others know. Right? their perceptions of you, odd ticks or disfluencies, right. An example contacts here would be like a movie audition, or even guys, this podcast, I think I know how I come off on this podcast. But I don’t know what you and I’m talking about you as the collective of however many thousands of individuals download this thing. 

Some of you may think man, he’s really intense. Some of you may think he talks too fast. Some of you may think actually this is my speed. This is exactly what I need after all the podcasts that say the same things. I appreciate you, if some of you may feel like in any number of things, I don’t know, right? I have that blind spot. Now I asked for feedback and things like that. But people aren’t always honest with feedback. Some people are very honest, I would argue that it’s another manifestation of an open self. To go back to the previous window for a moment, me putting my book out, there are podcasts out there and other work out there. I mean, I hear it all, you’re the worst person alive, or, hey, this helped change my life. 

For every time somebody says this is exactly what I needed and thank you so much, right? There’s somebody that’s like, You’re the devil or what have you. But at least putting myself out there, it’s all feedback and it’s all me getting a better idea of like, wow, hears people respond to this in a very unique way. And that piece of content in a unique way, right? If you don’t know this, and you never seek to know. And you’re always just soliciting advice. And you’re always just like, putting stuff out there, but you never welcome. Or you never internalized feedback from others, that blind spot and that blind self just continues to grow. 


Brett Bartholomew  29:24

So soliciting and heating feedback helps to decrease the size of this window. All right, otherwise, you don’t know. Think of it like a bull in a china shop. Again, if you’re that person, that’s always I think of this really to be honest, it’s like a troll on the internet. A troll on the internet is a perfect example of the blind self. Everybody else is wrong. You’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re canceled, that’s dumb, this is dumb. 

I mean, I know a couple people who are so obsessed with data, that they’re now attacking the entire kind of growth and fixed mindset thing that Carol Dweck put out, right? Like this idea that, hey, we can improve over time and or we can stay fixed and rooted in our ways. And there are certain people that get so entrenched in the data of things, despite the fact that data today can really be shown to prove or disprove just about anything that, you know, they don’t even understand that like, why they think they’re coming off as smart and educated  oh, look this data collection was bad, or this was based off incorrect foundations or looking at they just, you know, they skewed the data to use this narrative. 

And they think they’re coming off as smart or they’re serving the greater good. And a lot of times, I’m sorry, if you have kids in the car, click your mouse right now, I’ll give you a second, 3, 2, 1 they’re just coming off as assholes. I mean, these are the kinds of people that you could go get a haircut today and be like, I feel more confident. And they’d be like, well, actually research shows that despite how you feel, even if you do have enhanced feelings of self efficacy, that people who just got haircuts, aren’t more effective at their job, or don’t have a better first date and don’t have and it’s like, dude, shut up. You know what I mean? Those are the kinds of like, when I think of trolls and know it alls, and people that insulate themselves, you know, a lot of that is that blind self. And that’s a very, very dangerous. 


Brett Bartholomew  29:24

So again, the blind self is what others know about you but that you don’t know about you, you don’t know how you’re coming across or you think you’re coming across in one way. It’s a very dangerous thing and it’s why you want to avoid echo chambers, so many degrees. All right, let’s look at another window. So we’ve talked about the open self. We’ve talked about the blind self. 

And now we have what’s called the hidden or facade window. All right. These are things that you know about you, but you do not want others to know. Okay, embarrassing thoughts, feelings, fears, financial insecurities, private matters, things that we hold in, often, unnecessarily. All right. So you can think about this. Now, there’s times where it’s appropriate. Let me get to where it would be like inappropriate or not necessary. Let’s talk about where it’s not helpful. Right? almost comical examples, one comical at one serious and then we’ll talk about where it’s actually okay. Because not everything’s black and white, right? 

So here’s an example of where a hidden or facade self would actually hurt you and I heard this when the Johari Window was explained to me through another medium. So let’s say that you have a son or daughter, whatever, okay, or non binary, whatever it is, right? Like, you have offspring and they have a learning disability. Let’s say for the sake of just the discussion today, they have autism, a pretty severe case of autism, and you need to a certain amount of times a week, take them to an appointment. They’re young, you’re so continuing to figure out how to best adapt and how to best you know, create the best lifestyle for this individual. And you have to leave. 

Well, if you leave periodically throughout your day, almost mysteriously and you’re gone for one or two hours at a time, even for a good reason, such as taking your child who has autism to an appointment, without telling your boss or your co-workers or what have you what’s going on, well, that’s gonna hurt you over time, that’s gonna look kind of odd , like, hey, why is Steve or why is Jana always leaving during this time? I don’t know, like, what are they doing? Right? Whereas if you just were honest about that, and you just said, hey, you know, I know you know my daughter, or my son has autism and if you don’t, obviously, let’s say you explained it to him, that requires me to take them to appointments a couple of times a week. 


Brett Bartholomew  31:46

But to make that up, I’ll either do a working lunch, or I’ll increase the amount of hours I work at the end of the day, right? Like that, by facilitating that conversation and not hiding behind that facade, you’ve helped your situation there. And I’ll never forget, it was pretty embarrassing, take it from somebody who’s had to have a facade. So going back to before I was hospitalized, I had to go to appointments to see a psychiatrist a couple times a week. And I’ll never forget that I would have to make up all kinds of lies and rumors to tell my friends at the time of why I’d be getting pulled out of school to go see this individual. And, you know, it was, I mean, I would try to get as creative as possible with these things. 

And it just made me feel awful and anxious, because I’m making this stuff up. And in reality, I was dealing with so many other things. But it’s not like as a high school kid, you can just be honest with your high school buddies, you know, like that. These were people at the time that had started turning to drugs, I didn’t even identify with them really anymore. You know. And so a lot of times, it was just like, I really retracted and became this secretive dude in high school. And oftentimes just didn’t tell anyone. Well, that made me look weirder, by default. 


Brett Bartholomew  31:46

So now here I was having previously been 130 pounds, I’m 90 pounds already. You know, there’s already a dramatic physical change. And now I’m not as social as I used to be, and I’m withdrawn and what have you, I have this tremendous facade self. And I’m making up all these excuses. And I don’t even know what they were, I’d give you one, you know, you just get so caught up in lies at the time. But the bottom line is, I didn’t want to tell people yeah, I gotta go see a psychiatrist twice a week, you know, and it was not a good situation to begin with. 

Because then I’m sitting there listening to this psychiatrist half the time, he was supposed to help me as a 14 year old. And instead of listening to anything I said, he was more interested in what kind of medication I should be on within the first 10 minutes. And so there’s a lot of these situations now a far more comical one. I used to live in Phoenix, and you know, we’d have to go to the Scottsdale area, good bed. And you’d always hear about what people would refer to as the Scottsdale millionaires. These are people that drove, you know, these super fancy cars, and what have you, you know, I’m talking about cars that were way beyond what anybody should be driving, right? You’d see somebody trying to drive or rent a McLaren, and what have you yet they live in an apartment, and they could barely afford rent, right? Or they had some kind of Corvette, yet they lived in their mother’s basement and shell, this isn’t a knock on anybody that lives in their mom’s basement. 

Don’t get sensitive on me, you understand what I’m saying? It’s people that put off this front to impress people that they actually usually don’t like. Isn’t that ironic? How many of you know either a time where you did it, because it’s okay to laugh at yourself, or somebody else? Where you gone out a way out of your way to do something, whether to your appearance, or what have you to impress somebody that you don’t even like? I know some women who would say we do it all the time, right? 

Like, half the time I remember the joke is, hey, women don’t get dressed up for guys, they get dressed up a lot of times for other women because they can be tatty about some things. And so we all have that facade. And that can keep us from getting feedback, because if nobody knows the real you, right, you’re missing opportunities to genuinely connect, you know, you just are and sometimes facades are unintentional. 


Brett Bartholomew  31:47

I know this can go a bit long, but I want to give you as many examples is possible. I was talking to a good female friend of mine recently. And she was just talking about her dating life and some things were really hard. Now granted, this is during COVID I think that’s hard for anybody that single but you know, as situations got safer, what have you, she had made the decision to go out to dinner one time and she was with a couple of their friends and it was a socially distanced restaurant outside. 

Again, don’t kill the messenger. I’m telling a story here. And she just said, I just don’t, guys like never approach me. I don’t know what’s wrong, you know. And I remember hearing this and I thought, well, you know, one, we live in a very different era. Now, I tried to think if I was single, I’ll be honest, I’m a pretty confident guy and in a healthy way, I’m well aware of the aspects of myself that are not awesome. But I don’t even know if I would approach a woman at a bar or restaurant just out of the blue. I mean, that’s never been my style anyway, but I was more likely to meet somebody at an improv class or a work event or this or that, I’m just giving casual examples, right?

Because I feel like today as a guy, and I’m sure it’s the same for most females as well, no matter what your proclivity no matter how you identify, like going up to a stranger in today’s climate and assuming that you’re going to “hit on somebody”, especially when there’s this, there’s already this facade that they’re dressed up, they’re in a group, right? There’s this barrier there, there’s this barrier to getting to know that person and then getting to know you, especially if you’re in an environment that’s not necessarily relaxed, and there’s drinks and what have you. It’s just not natural. That whole idea has never seemed natural to me. But when you’re in groups that can create a facade as well, because there’s this barrier. Somebody can think, well, they’re busy or they’re popular, they’re in a conversation, or they’re with somebody and what have you.


Brett Bartholomew  35:40

Now let’s talk about a different example. That is,when it’s appropriate to have a facade, and it’s going to be a play off the one I just gave meeting somebody. Let’s say you’re on a first date. Of course, guys, you do not want that individual to know everything about you right out of the gate. You know, could you imagine and maybe some of you have this dynamic, and I’m all for it. God bless you. This is just me. Right? But like most situations wouldn’t go well. 

If you go out on a first day, and you’re like, hi, my name is Brett and I have three cats. I don’t, I’m making all this up. Right? Hi, my name is Brett, I have three cats and I’ve been with this many women and I have this, and I’m very insecure about this, and hey, some of my bad tendencies I do this and this, like, what? slow, what? like, slow down, you’re freaking me out. You’re freaking me out. Nobody would do that. And if you’d well, people do that. 

But that’s an example of where it would not be appropriate. So again, this hidden or facade self for things that you know about you, but you don’t always want others to know. Alright, embarrassing thoughts, feelings, fears, insecurities, what have you. It’s not always good. It’s not always bad. But it is a barrier. And it’s a window that you don’t, you want to manage how high that gets open, and when. Alright, and we’ll talk about some strategies there. The final window is what we call our unknown self. 


Brett Bartholomew  37:07

So again, to recap, we have our open self, things that you know that other people know. You have your blind self, things that other people know but you don’t know, how is that guy coming off? How did she interview? How did this that? You have what you know, and others don’t know, which is your facade or the mask. And then the unknown is literally unknown to self and unknown to others. 

So for example, I have no idea how I would be as an astronaut. I’ve never trained as an astronaut. And I don’t think many of my friends have an idea, they might have an idea in terms of like, just some general trades, but how I would fare with some of the aspects, you don’t know. So what’s both unknown to you and others? Also, how would one behave in a crisis scenario? Now you think, you know, right? You think you know how you would happen if all of a sudden, boo, boo, boo, right sirens are going off. You think you would know if all of a sudden it gets really dramatic. 

And you have to save the life of you, I mean, yourself and others around you, and roads are closed and all these things you’d like to think and even if you have a bug out bag, right? Even if you have a bug out bag in this and you have a plan, but the reality is, is no plan survives first contact with the enemy, you have zero idea how you would behave to a tee in that scenario, you don’t. I had some friends that lost their job during COVID. And they had been in their job 25 years. They thought they knew how they would respond when that day came. And I remember talking to them and saying like, you know, I should have expected it. And I always knew this day could happen. I just didn’t think it would be like blank. Right? And like that. That’s very common. It’s very common. 


Brett Bartholomew  38:56

I mean, there are people that I remember coming up in strength and conditioning with that they had ideas of what this would be like, and that would be like, and they got a job at this school. And then they got there and they’re like Ahh, that, yeah, this was nothing. Like I thought they weren’t a fit people split ways. It’s like that a lot of times in hiring. I mean, there are a lot of great people that get hired for positions that seem like it’s a perfect fit, and it doesn’t work out because at the end of the day, you don’t know all aspects of that. That is the area of unknown potential. Right? It’s the area of unknown potential, a large unknown area usually results from the product of not only low feedback requested and received, but also people just not putting themselves out there. Right. 

The more you do insulate yourself, and the more you don’t even try to do something, right, that’s an issue, right. To get ahead in anything, you’ve got to get started and you’ve got to get feedback. And this is a big reason why blind spots collectively, are really areas of unrecognized self evolution. So if somebody even comes up to me and says, hey, you know, I want to build a brand, or I want to make an impact, or what have you. I mean, that usually comes and shout out to my friend Colin Butterfield for when we were talking about this, that usually comes after evolution, right, self improvement, or what have you. If you go out and you try to build a brand or try to do something before you really address your blind spots. You’re kind of setting yourself up, you’re setting yourself up. 

So you know, like I said, we, I know these things can seem esoteric. And there’s a different variety of these windows, and we have worksheets, and I say, worksheets or PDFs, we have PDFs, examples, things that you can print off all that at Art Of Coaching. Again, if you go to, you’ll be on the list and we’ll be able to give you information as to when this stuff comes out is available to the public, it’s part of a larger project we’re working on. 


Brett Bartholomew  40:58

And I also just want to make sure that you understand this, there are almost archetypical windows, there are archetypical windows, because I wouldn’t be telling you the whole story about the Johari window. If I didn’t tell you, hey, it’s not about which one is best, or what have you. Yes, in general, ideal, like I said, is where you’re the most open, you’re open to other people and their feedback. The more you know about one another, the less likely you have a distrusting relationship, right? We talked a little bit about a Johari. Oh I’m sorry, a bull in a china shop window, where the blind window is the biggest. And that’s you’re less aware of your own behavior, your biases in, your inclinations, right? You don’t, I think we all know that person. 

They may be smart and well intentioned. But man, do they say the wrong thing at the wrong time? And man, do they have a tendency to just jump in with too much? One thing I didn’t talk to you guys about what that hidden in facade window is that’s like an interviewer. Right? There are times where it does benefit somebody to not say much, if you are actually listening to an interview, well, you’re not there for the interviewer, you’re there for the other person. Now, be careful where you apply that. 

In our podcast, you know, I remember somebody gave great feedback, great feedback. But it was a combination of two windows. It was a blind spot of mine, because I didn’t know I was being perceived this way. But it was also something that was unknown to the other individual. So they said, hey, and this was on episode, like, I don’t know, one of our first 15, they said you can talk too damn much, you know, when you have your guests on. And you know, this is supposed to be an interview. And I love you, but you know, interview them. 

And I remember saying to them, well, listen, our podcast has never been about an interview, it’s about conversations, we’re very candid about that. And every guest that comes on, you know, generally says the same thing that they want to have conversations, they don’t just want to be asked question after question after question. I think that gets boring, you know. So the template we’ve used for this show is like, hey, and I don’t tell you this is behind the scenes stuff. 

Before we get on the air, I say just relax, this should feel like the listeners are joining us for lunch, or a drink or a campfire chat. Right? It’s us going back and forth and chatting. But I still took that person’s, you know, feedback, it’s still is valuable, right? But there is  a value to the hidden window, and what have you, a doctor talking to their patient, right, trying to get an idea of their afflictions and things like that the doctors should not be talking a ton. They should be listening. The turtle window is what I’d say you guys want to avoid. I’ll go out on a limb there. 


Brett Bartholomew  43:36

That is that large, unknown. So if you had that fourth window, the unknown unknown, and it’s massively, you know, it’s just huge. And you’re just not exposing yourself to different situations. There’s so many people and I’m sorry, performance strength and conditioning crowd tend to get really bad at this. And this is me saying it lovingly so you can get all fired up about it or you can, you know, come to the table. Because there’s a lot of professions and a lot of other people from a lot of different professions listening. And they deal with it in some respects, too. 

But the performance community coming up, man did I see how insular it was. I mean, it was almost like high school lunch. Sometimes you’d see college strength coaches sitting by college strength coaches, pro strength coaches sitting by pro strength coaches, sometimes those strength coaches wouldn’t even come watch presentations from other coaches. They just talked to their coaches. And you just see people like get in their little cliques and what have you. Dangerous guys, it’s dangerous. You want to increase your social capital, you want to increase your feedback. 

It’s one thing we do at our Apprenticeship workshops. You come and you get evaluated as a leader, or a communicator in different contexts, not by just professionals in your field, but professionals in a wider range of fields. And that’s why we’ve created the evaluation and the environment that we have, because now you’re having deeper discussions about actions and behaviors that you thought were helpful, but might actually be harmful. And instead of you needing to get all defensive about it, you just get to interact with people that see it different ways, and they’re all focused on mutual growth, we have that there. 


Brett Bartholomew  45:06

So I really hope you guys choose to check out these examples. Check out what we have coming again, more of a formal announcement as to come. But for now, just get your butt to This Johari window is something that can be tremendously helpful, I promise you, it’ll make a lot of sense once you see it. And we have so many ways you and your organization can use it in small groups, big groups, one to one, anything like that. I value you guys. Do not be complacent. Don’t. 


Brett Bartholomew  45:36

Get to and thank you for those of you that have been loyal and have been listening and for those of you that have just come, hold on tight, we’re just getting started. Art Of Coaching podcast, Brett Bartholomew, check it out.

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