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As Sherlock Holmes once said, “You see, but you do not observe.” While many people see things, they do not have good observational skills. With better observation, you can become a stronger leader through having great observation skills and taking in what happens around you. Leaders have a big responsibility to recognize patterns and decipher what they see to make meaning out of it and then use this information to more effectively lead. Luckily, people can learn better observation skills by using some of these tips.

Moving beyond seeing to observing

The biggest difference between observing and seeing is how observing notices patterns and details and turns them into meaning while seeing doesn’t think about what it sees. As a leader, people could use this skill because it helps them move beyond simply seeing something to making more essential insights. When people do this, they become adept at recognizing opportunities. When you move past simply looking at something and then forgetting about it, to truly considering and registering what’s happening, you’ll be able to better read situations.

Observe the obvious

In some cases, leaders look past things because they’re painfully obvious. However, if you want to become a more observant leader, consider the obvious and what it means. There may be more information within it or the situation could not be as obvious as you first thought it was. When trying to solve an issue, consider all of the information, people, and events involved.

Assemble the facts

As leader of a business, people have to separate what’s merely clutter from the actual meaning of the facts. Avoid the temptation to only look at one side of the story or dismiss some piece of information. While leaders may get incorrect information, it’s important to get as much as you can and then determine what’s relevant and accurate.

Observing potential

Obvious facts sometimes blind people to opportunity, new products, improvements, and services. Make it a priority to really consider people’s potential instead of simply how they appear now. As a leader, people have to ask themselves what facts they need to question and how something could be improved.

Leaders have to learn to see what others cannot. They observe the patterns that people walk past without recognizing. Once someone learns the skills of observation, they can take facts and use it to improve their business to make it run more efficiently. Observation skills help a business to prosper because the leaders of the business can see opportunity where it exists.