|Written by Bill Hanks|
We have all heard the expression, "there is a difference between hearing and listening." ¬†The same can be said about seeing and understanding. ¬†Many of us are so focused on one particular item that we miss the big picture. ¬†If you are in a position of responsibility, like that of a boss, supervisor or teacher, this article is important for you.
Ask yourself this question. ¬†How many times has someone said to you, "Did you see that?" ¬†"Did you see what she did?" ¬†All you can say is, "no I missed that." ¬†It is very important to try and see and understand everything that is happening around you. ¬†Many times we miss the little things that could be so important to us and those that we are responsible for.
As a teacher, the first thing that I did each day was observe the physical being of each student. ¬†Without saying anything, I would look for bruises and scratch marks on each student. ¬†This type of observation would quickly let me know if this student was being bullied or abused. ¬†I would often do this, as students would stand to recite the "Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag." ¬†My students never knew that I was doing this.
Many times a supervisor or boss will walk into the work place to exchange ideas and communications with employees. ¬†They are so focused at the task on hand that they miss the important little things that are going on.
How can a supervisor see everything going on? ¬†They can't. ¬†However, they can make a mental notation of changes. ¬†How can they do this? ¬†In many ways, it is like driving your vehicle. ¬†You always pan the scene in front of you to get a 180 degree look at the road ahead. ¬†You notice small movements, color changes in stop lights, roadside signs, pedestrians, small animals, hidden driveways, road construction and oncoming traffic.
As a supervisor, you do the same thing in the work place. ¬†You might be talking to an employee. ¬†However, you are constantly looking at THE BIG PICTURE. ¬†You then zero in on the small things inside the big picture. ¬†Are there things out of place in this picture? ¬†If so, why? ¬†Check out the personnel. ¬†Are they where they are suppose to be? ¬†Are they being productive? ¬†More important, are they safe?
Once you have done this, look for the little things. ¬†Are all tools being used in the proper location? ¬†Are safety rules being complied with correctly? ¬†You not only look at objects but, you look at procedures as well. ¬†If the big picture looks okay, you can move on.
However, as you begin to leave, turn around and take one final view of the big picture. ¬†Try to keep this final scene your head for future assessments. ¬†Pay close attention to detail as best as you can.
This is how you learn to see and understand. ¬†It is a major step in becoming an observant supervisor, boss or teacher. ¬†Maybe you can't be observant as Sherlock Holmes, but you have taken steps to improve how you view things.