English actress Julie Andrews, known for her role in The Sound of Music said, “Have you noticed how nobody ever looks up? Nobody looks at chimneys, or trees against the sky, or the tops of buildings. Everybody just looks down at the pavement or their shoes. The whole world could pass them by and most people wouldn’t notice.”
How often do you find yourself really observing the world around you? It’s easy for us to simply go through the motions, without taking a moment to stop, observe and pay attention.
Whether it’s at work or home, checking our phones, working on our laptops or watching TV occupies most of our time. But what if you start observing things around you—from how your coworker reacts to your words to the kind of work environment you have?
Continue reading if you want to learn how to improve observation skills and how it can help you improve your life.
Why You Need Sharp Observation Skills
Imagine there’s a problem at work and your coworkers are struggling to find a solution. They’re unable to discover the source of the problem because they’re too worried about the consequences. Finally, you notice there’s an error in the system code they’re working on and fix it.
If you hadn’t been paying close attention, you’d never have picked up on the problem.
Your observation skills help you in multiple ways—whether it’s problem-solving, building meaningful relationships or achieving improved results at work.
Here’s how you’ll benefit from improving your observation skills:
Find better ways to work with your colleagues by observing and interpreting their actions, moods and abilities
Define and solve problems with ease by understanding the source and getting to the bottom of it
Find joy and meaning in your professional life by building lasting relationships at work as you learn to read others
Discover a sense of purpose and add value to your life by observing things that you would otherwise overlook
Express your gratitude toward your colleagues, family and friends by observing what they do for you—and what you do in return
Your observation skills can help you become a more reliable friend or team member. You’ll even become a better judge of character, which is a great leadership quality. The more you observe, the better your objective and critical thinking abilities.
How To Increase Observation Skills
Understanding how to be a good observer helps you develop the right mindset for this practice. There are several ways to increase your observation skills:
Watch People In A Crowd
People watching is an age-old practice where you simply watch people around you and assess their behavior, actions and reactions. Every person has a method to their behavior and understanding these patterns will help you make better judgments. You don’t have to make it obvious or lurk around others. Instead, focus on reading people, picking up on nonverbal cues like body language and facial expressions.
Make A Note Of Your Surroundings
Be the person who’s fully aware of their surroundings. There’s no joy in being unaware or absent-minded about where you are. Whether it’s at the office or in your room, you should make an effort to recognize your surroundings so you can make them your own. This will help you make positive changes in your life, removing things that don’t work and adding what you feel can help.
Observe Your Seniors
You have a lot to learn from those with more years of experience. Observe the way your managers communicate, solve problems and delegate work. This can help you gain more insights about how you can do things in the workplace. Learning from someone you look up to is a good way to practice and improve.
Learn To Listen
One of the most critical aspects of effective communication and interpersonal skills is active listening. If you really learn to listen, you’ll solve problems faster, build better relationships and manage your time efficiently. Observe and listen to what others are saying, make careful observations and notice little details to understand what people are trying to convey.
Paying attention is followed by asking relevant questions to any queries you may have. If, for instance, you observe that your colleague looks down and dejected, you can ask them what’s wrong, helping them in the process. Your observations help you ask questions to arrive at better solutions.
You can learn how to become a good observer with practice, patience and awareness. You can become an effective problem-solver at work by paying attention to things. Harappa’s Defining Problems course will teach you how to avoid misjudging problems and make sound assumptions. The foundation of problem-solving is to define and understand what went wrong. Learn how you can do that with the help of our expert faculty who’ll share personal experiences to drive the point home.
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