Workplace: Observations

Observations lead to recognition, problem solving, and innovation. Without observations, everything remains status quo, run of the mill, ordinary, and may lead to boredom and danger.

To observe – to become aware of what is going on around you each day. To notice things that yesterday you may have missed, walked right by, or failed to see or hear. To pause long enough to see and hear what is happening at home, at work, and in the community. To recognize that which is, or that which is happening right here, right now.

The power of observation belongs to everyone at every age. The key is to take time to pause, look and listen; to make time to pause, look and listen.

When walking downtown one evening several years ago, a four-year-old girl rounded the corner, stopped in her tracks and looked at how we were walking – one in front of the other, arms intertwined. We stopped walking. She was studying us and said: “You look like an octopus with two heads.” While we stood still, hoping for the adult in her life to also round the corner, she continued to observe us. Her engagement was full, complete, the rest of the world had ceased to exist for her it appeared – and it did for us too. Being wrapped in her observation and comment kept us present in the moment. Her mother did round the corner and the moments shared dissolved. However, the memory of being called an octopus remains.

This is the depth of observation to strive for on a daily or weekly basis. Make an observation so deep that you draw a new, creative conclusion; that you problem solve in a novel and viable way; or that you find joy that pushes out the craziness of the world for even five minutes.

These moments of deep observation can improve your life; can help you identify a struggling co-worker or a hurting child; can help you problem solve in more creative ways.


Look and listen.

See with your eyes and your ears.

Feel with your heart.

Discover what is happening right here, right now in your space. In your workplace. In your home. During your commute. During your co-workers’ day. During your kids’ day. Observations are ours to be had when we engage with the people and the places immediately around us.

Find the good. Watch for the not-so-good and needs to improve. Listen for the unspoken messages that are causing hurt and need resolution.

What will you observe more powerfully today? This week?

Time for team observation skills to improve? Ready for invigorating conversations that lead to problem solving and improved employee morale?   Contact Jana: 208-367-1701

As the author of seven books, in seven languages, Jana has been interviewed by U.S., Canadian, and European programs, and magazines. Her presentations have been seen in the United States and India by international audience members.

Workplace – the Blog: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. Together we can find working solutions.

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