Looking back on my childhood days, aside from the fun I had with my classmates and playmates, what I remember vividly in my childhood was when I loiter around the campus. I enjoyed observing the paintings along the walls of preschool buildings, the structure, shapes, and colors of the different plants and trees around the campus, and of course the people who are walking, or shouting, or playing, or just jeering around. I also enjoyed the eerie feeling of walking on the dark paths and hallways of our school and the feeling of delight and success in walking past it.
Come high school and up to my college days, I grew more interested in observing people and wondering the whys of their actions. I have a certain classmate in high school. His stances suggest that he is overconfident, he shows his biceps to us with a sneer, he runs like the ninjas in the anime Naruto, and his emotions are free flowing – when he is angry, you can see the hatred in his maddened face. Many people consider him as ‘weird’ because of his actions, I also saw him as such, but when I observed his little acts, I saw his deep respect for art, chivalry for women, and his perseverance in battling his life’s challenges. This allowed me to see him in a different light, a different angle.
To see things others neglect to see – that is the power of observation.
An observation is done when we carefully observe, through any of our five senses, something or someone to gain information. For example, observing a certain kind of rock may have statements like “The rock feels rough” or “The rock feels light” or “The rock is color gray” or “The rock smells like dust” etc.
It is almost the same with people, though they are more complex. Body movements, voice intonations, postures, facial expressions are just some of the areas we can observe. The information collected can be analyzed and can create an assessment of the one observed.
For example, in an integrity test, you observed that the candidate is so focused on the exam, and answering each question in about less than 7 seconds on approximation, then there on item #37, he stopped for quite a while choosing an answer. Also, he reacted to item #52 by frowning. After the exam, he is fidgety and is sweating a little. You can actually take note of those; ask and probe on it on the following interview.
From there, the true power of observation unfolds – in interviewing or giving tests while observing the candidates. All the information gathered from the tests, interviews, and observations are analyzed to provide a more accurate representation of an individual.
Share your thoughts!
Originally posted on LinkedIn last December 18, 2015
Image by LaVladina
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