Observation skills mean using all five senses to identify, analyze & recall your surroundings. This practice is often connected with mindfulness because it encourages you to be careful & aware of the details of your daily life. Like any other skill, you can Improve Your Observation skills, too.
Powers of Observation
Improve Your Observation skills depending on several other abilities & characteristics, like:
One of the most significant aspects of effective communication is listening attentively. When you acquire this skill, you can devote your focus to the speaker, understand their message & respond in an appropriate& thoughtful manner. You can do this by paying attention to the speaker’s verbal & nonverbal cues, like the tone of voice & reading facial expressions. You can get involved in the conversation & remember its details without asking the speaker to repeat them.
2. Emotional Intelligence
The capability to evaluate & control your own emotions as well as identify & empathize with the feelings of others is a skill that is termed as emotional intelligence. Though this skill’s key benefit is that it helps you connect with those around you & create meaningful relationships, it is also a powerful observation tool. By recognizing the emotional state of others, you can realize how you should interact with & react to those around you.
3. Critical thinking
Your capacity to think critically has a significant influence on your observation skills. Critical thinking, or the capability to analyze context & facts so that you can carefully understand a topic or problem, needs you to remain objective as you recognize issues & come up with effective solutions.
4. Attention To Detail
Attention to detail is the capacity to approach & accomplish work with diligence & accuracy. This skill plays an essential role in productivity, but it’s also key to effective observation because it helps you to identify small details & adjust your actions accordingly.
How To Improve Observation Skills
1. Search For Details
Take some time every day to pause what you are doing & try to pick out as many details as you can from your surroundings. There are usually big or eye-catching things in your environment but try to move past these big objects to find some minor, less noticeable characteristics. For example, you might instantly notice the computer, chair & desk in a colleague’s workplace, but try to see details about the paint, things on the desk, pictures on the walls & even the curtains.
2. Identify Your Purpose
When trying to improve something about yourself, it can be helpful to understand why. Knowledge of your purpose for a goal can keep you focused & guide your practice. For example, if your primary interest is being a more helpful teammate, keeping this purpose in mind can help you direct your attention to matters relating to your colleagues, such as their strengths, interests, weaknesses & challenges.
3. Focus On Present
Observation involves watching the details of a particular setting. Being preoccupied with concerns about future events, past incidents, or distractions such as your phone or social media can hamper your ability to recognize what is going on around you. As you strengthen your observation skills, try to minimize all distracting elements & acknowledge the present moment.
4. Mindfully Monitor Your Environment
Observing, like any skill, can be more robust with practice. Spend time observing your surroundings daily, using as many senses as possible. You can do it anywhere that you can observe activity noninvasively, like in a park, someplace in the city, a sidewalk, or your office desk. Over time, you may notice patterns in behaviors & attitudes, which can make it more noticeable when they shift. Your subjects necessarily don’t have to be people. You can also observe animals& nature. Fish in a pond can be brilliant subjects for practicing your observation skills, as you can observe how they move and react to different actions.
5. Consider Taking Notes
A significant aspect of observation skills is the capacity to recall what you have observed. To improve your observation of memory, consider writing your thoughts & the details you have noticed. Try to keep a notebook in your pocket or use a note-taking app on your mobile phone. Remember that it is vital to perform this exercise mindfully, with a conscious acceptance of your subject and what you are doing. Taking notes mindfully, not idly, forces you to concentrate on the function of the activity, which will help your brain to process the information correctly.
6. Mindfully Advance to Your Everyday Activities
Mindfulness in other activities, mainly routine, can inspire you to be present in your environment & be more open to its details. Identify the activities in which you usually include a distraction. Eating, for example, is a daily activity that people commonly perform while watching television or some online video. Instead of watching shows while you eat, focus on the food instead. Watch how it looks & smells, feels in your mouth & tastes. Identify your physical & mental reactions to the food as well.
7. Perform Observation Exercises
Observation exercises are activities created to test & build your capability to recognize, recall or connect details. These typically involve a picture, a video, or an arrangement coupled with one or several questions. A famous example is Kim’s Game, in which you have to spend a minute looking at several objects on a table or in a picture, cover them & then try to note down as many of the things as you can remember. Playing this game instructs your brain to notice & recall details more effectively.
8. Test Your Skills
When you are feeling that you have developed your observation skills, you can put them to the test to act on your observations. For example, if you notice a coworker seems stressed, try to approach them & politely ask about it. They may say they are fine & offer some explanations, or they may admit that they feel inundated & you can offer some help. In either case, you gain embedded feedback about your observation, whether right or wrong & you can use that to inform future observations.
9. Keep Learning
You can channel your observation skills to more than just your environment & people. You can apply them to tasks. It is significant to learn as much as you can about subjects in which you would like to be more attentive. For example, having a basic understanding of coding & computer-related concepts can help you to see IT developments in the workplace, even if that field is not part of your work. With such knowledge, you can contribute more to your work & improve your position in your organization.
A mindful observer will notice, analyze, & remember their surroundings using all five senses. If you want to become more observant in your life, take time every day to study your surroundings. Engage not only your vision but also your other senses to become more mindful in your daily life. You should also improve your memory to recall all the little details you have noticed. Daily practice will make your powers of observation more assertive within weeks. If you want to Improve Your Observation, some simple yet effective steps will help you.