Breakthrough your BS with Likky Lavji

Likky Lavji: Breakthrough your BS

In this episode, Likky shares how understanding and embracing your BS – your Blind Spots can make you a stronger leader, a better partner and help you achieve much more success in your personal and professional lives.

In this episode, you’ll learn more about:

  • How limiting beliefs can be major barriers
  • How to uncover your blindspots
  • How to create an environment for open communication and better connection
  • How your style of driving can reveal your blindspots
  • How to use insights from his assessment to empower yourself and your team
  • How reflecting on childhood interactions can create a better understanding of current behaviour patterns
  • How to use your BS knowledge to relate better with other

Listen to the Podcast Now

Guest bio:

Let me introduce Likky to you. Likky Lavji is a Founder and President of Dante Group, a consulting firm that works closely with growth-oriented mid-size companies. He is also known as the “Blind Spot Navigator”, an in-demand workshop leader and keynote speaker who is passionate about helping leaders break through barriers to unleash their full potential. With over 25 years as a CEO of a top IT company, Likky’s extensive experience in executive leadership gives him a unique perspective that enables him to understand the multi-layers of human behavior and how they impact an organization’s growth and productivity.

Likky has been acknowledged by prominent organizations that include Telus Corporation, Lenovo Canada, and Royal Bank of Canada for his ability to create mindset shifts with company cultures that lead to greater shared commitment, elevated results and clients that are more engaged and excited.

If you want to learn more about your Blind Spot, Likky has created an Assessment that you can take at no cost. It closely identifies which of the eight personality and behavioral styles describe you the best. You can click on this link to take the assessment à

He will also be launching his book soon, stay tuned and follow him on his Social Media accounts.


You can connect with Likky here:

LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter

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Intro (00:00):

Welcome to Seniors' Care Matters, part of the Qod Pod Network. Each week, Seniors' Care Matters provides inspiring interviews and insights to help you lead, connect and engage with your teams and your residents' families. We focus on ways to enhance your leadership approach and presence with practical tips, to build a relational culture and create breakthrough results. And now here's your host for Seniors' Care Matters Deborah Bakti.

Deb (00:30):

Perhaps you've heard the quote self-awareness is the greatest predictor of leadership success. I actually think self-awareness is one of the best predictors of relational success as well. When we have a high level of self awareness, we are better equipped to relate with others in a healthier way. And yet what gets in the way of self-awareness? Well, one of them is our blind spots. Today's guest Likky Lavji is a blind spot navigator, also known as a BS navigator. Listen, we all have blind spots. It's like that saying goes, we can't see the label on the jar when we're in the jar yet everyone else can. The blind spots that can get in the way of effective leadership and relationship building can be how others perceive us compared to how we are perceiving ourself and Likky shares some personal stories and insights with learning about his blind spots that created breakthrough results for him and his team.

Deb (01:26):

Here's a bit about today's guest Likky Lavji is a Founder and President of Dante group, a consulting firm that works closely with growth oriented midsize companies. He's also known as the blind spot navigator. An in demand workshop leader and keynote speaker, who is passionate about helping leaders break through barriers to unleash their full potential. With over 25 years, as a CEO of a top IT company Likky's extensive experience in executive leadership gives him a unique perspective that enables him to understand the multilayers of human behavior and how they impact an organization's growth and productivity. Likky has been acknowledged by prominent organizations that include Telus Corporation, Lenovo Canada, and Royal Bank of Canada, for his ability to create mindset shifts with company cultures that lead to greater shared commitment, elevated results and clients that are more engaged and excited. If you want to learn more about your blind spot, Likky has created an assessment that you can take at no cost. It closely identifies which of the eight personality and behavioral styles describe you the best. And you'll find a link in the show notes. I hope you enjoy this conversation.

Break (02:41):

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Deb (02:56):

Hi Likky, welcome to Seniors' Care Matters. So looking forward to this conversation.

Likky (03:01):

Well, Deborah, thanks for having me on here. I really appreciate it.

Deb (03:05):

Well, you know, blind spots are one of those things that I've always been a bit fascinated with, certainly from my years of being a corporate coach and how blind spots can really get in the way of people being able to develop their full potential. But I want to start by asking you, how did navigating, helping people navigate their blind spots become your thing. It sounds like it's your super power.

Likky (03:29):

Thanks. It was honestly by mistake, you know, I guess as I was growing up all the limiting beliefs I had really impacted my life over the years. And over the last couple of years, sitting down and training customers on sales and business strategies, realizing they weren't able to execute at the end. Not really not getting this stuff done. I just take a step back and say, what's stopping them. And what's stopping me from being the person I am. And I really realized it was the stuff I didn't know. Stuff I couldn't tell what was stopping me. So I started asking people, what do you see about me? Because you can't see your own blind spots. So I didn't know what any blind spots were, but I was asking for feedback - what do you see about me that's not congruent to my core values. And it ended up being that there was a lot of things I didn't know about myself. And one of the biggest things was, I didn't even know how I showed up in a room. I thought I was friendly and smiling and happy. And I was actually told you show up when you walk into a room as pompous. And I didn't even know that. And that's mainly because when I walked in, I'd dress up well, but I wouldn't smile. And I thought I was smiling, but I wasn't,

Deb (04:45):

You're smiling on the inside, just not on the outside.

Likky (04:48):

Exactly. But I thought I was so that came across as pompous. But these are the things that you don't see about yourself. Others do. So that's why I call it a blind spot now. And you know, I had a blind spot for many years about not being able to receive things, not being able to receive the good coming my way. And I didn't know that. I thought, okay, somebody would appreciate me. I'd say sure, no problems. But I had this lifelong stutter for about 30 years that went away in an instant the moment I started hearing the good people were saying to me. So blind spots affect us in such a way that it's good or it's bad. We just need to know what they are. Then we can figure out what they are. Like Deb you and I are both the same style. I have an assessment that details out what that looks like, but you're a connector, I'm a connector, but there's seven other styles that we just need to know what other people's blind spots are so we can communicate with them really well.

Deb (05:51):

And I'll make sure that there's a link in the show notes for the assessment, because as you mentioned, I took it and I'm a bit of a serial assessment person. And I really enjoy taking them because I enjoy that learning and creating that level of self awareness. I always remember a quote that said something to the effect of self awareness is the greatest predictor of leadership success. And we've all worked with people who we thought, do they not see how they're coming across? And yet, sometimes what gets in the way is helping that person. You know, I think about that the Johari window where the blind spot and the Johari window is what other people can see, but you can't see yourself. You know, a simple example is like, if you've got a piece of spinach in your teeth, most people will tell you that. But it's interesting that somebody wouldn't come up to say, Hey Likky sometimes the way that you come across as such and such, without you having to ask for that.

Likky (06:52):

Well, that's because we don't create the space for that. We don't create the openness and the trusting space for people to come and talk to you. Once you have a conversation with somebody and you create the space and you allow them to talk and you don't defend yourself and you just take that feedback properly, then they will tell you more. So before I worked on this assessment, the way I would ask people to look for blind spots is ask for feedback. Ask specific questions, things like, how do I show up when I walk into a room. Think about some of your own patterns. You know, when you're, when you're driving in traffic and somebody cuts you off, what's your first reaction? Is it anger? Are you swearing? Or are you just thinking that, you know, they may have an emergency they need to get to, there are three different emotions right there. But think about, that's probably the way you react to a lot of situations in life.

Deb (07:50):

And there probably is the default reaction, because I think we can choose those situations to think about whether it's, I wonder if there's an emergency going on, but if the natural reaction is to have that road rage, then what you're saying is that that's an indication of something that perhaps you could work on, or you may not even be aware of it unless somebody is in the car with you and saying, man, like you don't need to get so worked up about.

Likky (08:15):

Yeah. And that's what we need to start working on is realizing what those patterns of ours are and then realizing what the blind spots are. You know, when we're driving, and I love this analogy of driving, when we're driving, we're always checking for our blind spots on a daily basis, but in life we don't check for our blind spots until we get hit really hard with it. And it could be in a relationship. It could be at work that you're no longer excelling in where you're at because of your own blind spots. And you haven't created the space.

Deb (08:46):

You know, it's interesting. I can think a number of years ago in a previous career, I had a manager where we didn't have the best relationship, but I was always asking for feedback. And one day she said to me, you have to stop being so needy and asking for so much feedback. And I realized that that had such an impact on me that I stopped. My perception was, and as a leader, you shouldn't be asking for feedback. So sometimes we set people up to not be open or to feel that asking for feedback is being needy. Have you heard that from other leaders?

Likky (09:22):

Sure. And that comes across in different ways. And you know,when that person said that to you, I wonder what your process was by asking for all that feedback back then. Because you didn't know about blind spots then. Was it a limiting belief that was in the way that you weren't sure of yourself, just, you just want to make sure that you are doing a good job. As opposed to feedback you want you may have wanted kudos, but you were saying feedback. I don't know, but we all have to realize what is the trigger point in our blind spots? What is a trigger point about behaviors? And if it's a pattern what's triggering that? And I think about things like, if you're always wanting appreciation, I would ask a simple question to somebody and say, what was your upbringing likr? What was family like? What was family life like for you? Was it a loving, caring, physical touch environment at home? If it wasn't, you're going to do the opposite now trying to get that. And you, you probably don't relate the two. You never relate the two because that's not the way we're brought up. We're not, it's not a normal way of thinking, but whatever is happening now is based from an experience that we've had in the past.

Deb (10:44):

And so in that situation where that could have been a really rich conversation, then she probably also had her own blind spots as to why she either didn't like being asked for feedback, whatever her paradigm was that ended up creating a rift in our relationship for, and also a learning opportunity for me to understand your point. Is it feedback? Is it acknowledgement? Is it assurance? And then I think that's where we have our own perceptions of what - We put what's good and what's bad looking for acknowledgement is, or kudos is bad or, and other environments like a sales environment, perhaps they would see that as really good. So it's interesting the different facets, when you start looking at the person's blind spot, from whichever perspective.

Break (11:37):

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Likky (12:07):

Everybody behaves in a certain way based on their behavior patterns from the past. That's it, we all know that, you know, there wasn't a manual said you have to behave this way. It was a perception that happened years ago. And I'll share a smaller story with you. I had an it company for 25 years and in the IT company it was myself and a contractor for the first 10. And we did incredible. It was the best years we ever had. And then I grew the company and we had 14 people. And boy it was a revolving door of staff all the time, and I just couldn't understand why. And I went through this self development, self awareness process, probably about 10 years ago. And sitting in that course of sitting in that session, I realized there was a moment when my daughter was three years old, we went to Tofino and on the way to Tofino is a small town called Port Alberni. We were having lunch at The Subway with friends of ours, and all of a sudden I hear this door open up and I see my daughter bolt out in the parking lot. And I hear a screech from the car. And you can imagine a parent's reaction to that point. So I run after her, I pick her up. You never forget that. I'll never forget that vision, but there was words I said to her, which I forgot, and the words were, I'm never letting you go.

Likky (13:41):

And those words created a non trusting relationship with my daughter because I was being a helicopter parent worried about her, about every situation she was doing, but it really wasn't about that. It was about me saying the words I'm never letting you go. I did that for 16 years. And the moment I realized that I had to trace back and say, okay, when I was three years old, my dad passed away. When I was five, my grandfather passed away when I was 16, my best friend passed away from a car accident. When I was 35, my favorite cousin passed away from a car accident. So my thing was, if I get close to somebody, they're going to leave me, they're going to die. So I didn't trust. So relate this back to my company. I didn't trust my staff. So when you don't trust your staff, what happens? They feel not trusted, not worthy. So they left. So they've kept on leaving and I'm like, what am I doing wrong? I'm giving them anything they want. I'm creating this incredible environment. But the biggest thing that was missing was trust. And that was a huge blind spot for me. But I had to go back into a process of finding out where that issue trust came in for me. So imagine the leaders that have that right now.

Deb (14:57):

Well, and a lot of times we don't really know much, if anything, about people's depending on how long we've worked with somebody, their backgrounds and their experiences. And I mean, it makes, makes me feel like we all need to have therapy sessions, right. But to be able to like what you described so beautifully was being able to connect the dots of what was said. And in a very high emotion, intense moment made such a large imprint. And I think sometimes as we grow up, we look back on those things and we try to stuff it down or minimize it and we don't see the relevance of it and how that shows up.

Likky (15:38):

We think being human is to ignore the emotions. But when we ignore it and we bottle it up inside, like you said, it very well when we do that, it creates a blind spot moving forward.

Deb (15:52):

So going back to this assessment that you have, I found it was so interesting because as you mentioned, I came back as a connector and how you describe in this assessment, the potential blind spots was bang on for me. And what came up for me was the people pleasing conflict avoidance. I don't love taking huge risks. I mean, there's a certain element of that. And that level of sensitivity that again, I think how people may perceive me would be different than that and how we project ourselves. And, what I found really helpful with this is some of the suggestions and ideas of ways to be able to, illuminate those blind spots. So once we're aware of it, they don't have the same kind of power over us. And you mentioned that there are eight?

Likky (16:51):

Eight styles all together. Yeah.

Deb (16:54):

So it would, it would really be a useful exercise. And this is a free resource that you have on your website - for teams to be able to do that because I think just like we just opened up and had a conversation about different facets of ourself. And sometimes it's hard, I think, particularly as leaders to be able to open their kimono in that regard and say, these are some blind spots that I have. But how does this work for you with when you work with teams and they're able to share each other's blind spots?

Likky (17:27):

Well, interesting. So that's kind of where we go with this. So I used to do strategy sessions with companies and organizations to take them to the next level. And we would do all these events and all these conversations and sessions and annual retreats. But it would just go back to the normal ways we build trust and did the whole five dysfunctions. And we did a lot of conversations, but it would just go back because what was missing is people weren't aware of other people's blind spots. They didn't understand what was going on. So if you, if your blind spot is being wanted, right. Feeling that you need to be wanted. Whereas the controller is, I don't care about others, I'm about myself. Two total opposite spectrums on that scale that we have of eight styles. If they don't know that about each other, you're always going to be in the conflict. You'll never understand each other. So what we do, what we recommended is everybody in the teams take this blind spot assessment and then learn the blind spot of the other person. You don't need to change. You don't need to shift. You just understand where they're coming from. And nobody's broken. Please remember that. Your blind spot it doesn't mean that you're a bad person. It just says you've got a blind spot. You're not broken, nothing needs to be fixed.

Deb (18:45):

I also think Likky it creates a bit of neutrality in it because it's one thing to be able to read off of this. It's not like I would just walk into a meeting, go, Hey guys, how's it going just so you know, I'm a people pleaser, right? But here I've got, this is what this report says. And I think allows that ability to then ask for feedback without sounding needy for feedback. Like it's more specific. This is what it says in my report. Is this something that you would observe about me? Then it becomes a more effective tool I would think.

Likky (19:20):

Yes, exactly. So you think about if you're feeling wanted and whereas the controller his biggest blind spot is apt to cut people off. So if you're talking in your feeling wanting to get some feedback and they're cutting you off, it's a total opposite. Like you're not getting the feedback you need and he's cutting you off. You're actually on a different spectrum not totally. All your limiting beliefs are coming into play. But if you're both aware of this and you're aware that he's just cutting off, that's just the way he or she is, then you'll just let that conversation just go and not hold that personal. You won't make any meanings on it. You won't take it personally about yourself and, or you'll just say, Hey, let me just finish my train of thought. And then you can continue with yours. Now, a lot of people have a habit of cutting people off that doesn't make them a controller, but that could be a potential blind spot for them.

Deb (20:19):

Yes. And the not taking it personally. And probably as you say, out of all the different styles, some may be more prone to that than others, but those are the things that start to get in the way of having healthy relationships. And I feel like this helps people to be just in that more relational, curious mindset to really understand if we all can agree that we all have blind spots and there's wrong with that, what's wrong is not wanting, shouldn't say what's wrong, but the challenge can be when we don't want to know about them to make any changes.

Likky (20:57):

Yeah. Well, self-awareness being self aware makes you an incredible leader and makes you an incredible partner in a relationship as well. So when we're in teams, having conversations around our eight styles and the assessment, our ideal team looks like one person from each quadrant. We have the four quadrants set up. If you have somebody from each quadrant in your team, you have a really cohesive team. Now, if you're missing a quadrant, you don't need to fire or hire somebody for it. You just need to realize what's missing. And based on your next hire, you fill that quadrant. So for example, like the analyzers and the stabilizers, right? The people that are always looking for details, if you didn't have that in your portfolio, you may want to start looking at that. And it will be highlighted in this assessment that that's missing. Every company needs that. And just like every company needs a motivator. Every company needs a connector. They need a controller because they need to get stuff done. But if we're all these stabilizers and peacemakers, yeah. Whatever, let's make things happen. And it's okay. Don't worry. I don't want to rock the boat. Companies are not going to go anywhere. So there's gotta be a balance of every style in an organization.

Deb (22:19):

And when I think about the operations of a senior's care home, there are so many different relationships. There's relationships with your managers. So the PSW is reporting into the registered staff. You've got the management staff and the residents and the families, and a big area of my focus is that relationship with staff management and families. And I also, I guess what I'm thinking about Likky is that if I know what my blind spot is, that can help me to not get as triggered, if I'm having an interaction with a family member where they're really upset. I don't need to necessarily know what their blind spot is.

Likky (23:04):

You don't, you just need to know yours. Once you become self aware of your own blind spots and you were to read the other eight styles, you can peg them into a quadrant pretty easily, right? So there's eight styles with only four quadrants. So you'll peg them into which hemisphere they're in really easily. And then you'll be able to adapt your conversation because you're self aware. And this is all about you. It's not about changing anybody else. It's not about telling, Oh, you got that blind spot. It's not about that at all. This is about being self aware of yourself and understanding that other people also have blind spots. They just don't know it.

Deb (23:41):

Yes. This tool is to be used for good and not for evil.

Likky (23:46):

Yes. It's just like your rear view camera or rear view mirror in the car. If you didn't have that, that could create some big chaos in your life. So this, this tool here is your rear view camera.

Deb (24:00):

So when somebody is able to get their report, and I think one of the first things that you recommended is that what you did was to ask for feedback, what are some other proactive steps people can take to really help uncover their blind spots?

Likky (24:16):

Well, the easiest is the assessment. Just read that. It'll just tell you, and you'll be able to relate to it. I think you did that for yourself. Having an inner circle of people that you can create a safe environment and trusting environment with, and have conversations about this and be open to it. That seems to be the best way of understanding how you react to things and how you deal with things. So you've got to build that and you have to have that inner circle. Rule number one, do not put your partner in that inner circle because they will call out your BS and you don't want that.

Deb (24:54):

And BS is BS and blind spot, right?

Likky (24:58):

My business card says, BS Navigator. You can call it a blind spot, or you can say BS or whatever you want to say it really is, is honestly it's our BS that's in our way. It really is. And we need to realize that and to be the best version of ourselves, we need to know what's stopping us. Deb, I had a stutter for 30 years because a 10 year old kid said, go back to where you came from. And I hung onto that for 30 years. That kid didn't mean any bad, any harm by it. He didn't realize it was going to create a stutter for me. But the lack of trust that I had, the lack of the limited beliefs that I had, that was the catalyst that broke it, but it took 30 years to resolve it .

Deb (25:50):

Well. And you've mentioned trust a few times, and that of course is critical in any effective relationship. And so when I'm thinking about where, so you and I have worked together in various projects and masterminds. And like you say, there's that trust element and neither of us has authority over the other. So you go into a work environment where now you've got your managers or coworkers where people have a vested interest. How have you seen this work in teams like that where there's different levels of authority and control?

Likky (26:29):

Yeah. So anytime we do, when I talk about inner circles, I always recommend it's not somebody that you're working with that's a superior or somebody below you. They have a different motivation behind that. An inner circle to is either a coach or a really good friend that you've had for such a long time or a mentor that you've worked with. That's the inner circle, but in a work environment, when we do these, we usually facilitate them because people don't know how to do them. We give them the analysis, we get them to read it by themselves. If they feel confident, they'll move ahead. But if there is a lot of issue, I say issues, but if there's a lot of growth potential, and the visions aren't being met, and there's a lot of turnover, then it needs to be facilitated. We just come in and we have no attachment. So we just say what the blind spots are. And then we share our stories and show what's possible.

Deb (27:25):

Well, and that's a great point, Likky that you share your vulnerability and that taps into the emotion and the connection, and perhaps for leaders to have the courage to share their vulnerability with their team, gives them permission.

Likky (27:42):

It does. And I'm going to share a quote with you right now. You know, Howard Schultz. The guy who owns this thing called Starbucks, small, small little venture. He says, I think the currency of leadership is transparency. You've got to be truthful. I don't think you should be vulnerable every day, but there are moments where you've got to share your soul and conscience with people and show them who you are and not be afraid of it.

Deb (28:11):

That's really powerful.

Likky (28:12):

It is. And you think about this and you think about the leaders that you've worked with, leaders that you see, they feel being vulnerable, shows weakness. Well, there's a blind spot around that. And they're not even looking at that. They've got to realize vulnerability builds, trust builds, communication, builds relationships.

Deb (28:33):

This has been a great conversation Likky. Yeah, lots to think about and the opportunity, right? As you talked about reframing, it's, it's not about issues, it's about growth opportunities and that's what this is all about. Um, I will make sure that your website and the link to your assessment is available in the show notes. And I encourage all the listeners to check it out and take the assessment. You'll find it well worth your time and where they can reach out to you Likky if they want to have a followup conversation.

Likky (29:07):

I appreciate the opportunity being on here. And I love sharing the story this way of people. It helps people get better. It does help people move forward in every part of our lives. So happy to be part of it. And you're doing such an incredible job, spreading the message out to everybody. So thank you.

Deb (29:22):

Oh, thank you. Likky

End (29:27):

Thanks so much for listening to Seniors' Care Matters. Part of the Qod Pod Network. For more information on today's episode, please check out our show notes and Join us next week for another great episode of Seniors' Care Matters

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