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Wednesday, July 21, 2010


How well one observes is the starting point of any improvements. If one observes more and also more keenly, he can gauge the existing status and then, the scope and potential of improvements in anything, any person or "self" much better than the person who is not so good in observing.

The management exercise presented here brings out the level of current observation skills of the individuals in a group and and also the average of the observation capabilities of the group as a whole. It establishes the need for improvement in observation and introspection skills of the participants for bringing out improvements in personal and professional effectiveness and therefore, the need for your seminar.

It is appropriate to carry out this exercise at the beginning (after the initial introductions etc) in every personal and professional effectiveness improvement program.

Instruct the participants to pull out their writing pad and pens or pencils. Ask them to write down each and every observation they made from the time they woke up in the morning till the time they entered the seminar hall. Tell them that they should put down their pens or pencils on the table after they have written down all of their observations signalling completion of their tasks. Ask them to give serial numbers to their observations.

After the whole group has finished doing this, request the first participant to tell you and the rest of the group as to how many observations he made. He will tell the number of observations he made. Repeat this with every participant of the program.

Now, make you comments by telling the range of numbers of observations made by the participants of the group i.e. the count of maximum observations and the count of minimum observations made in the group. Give them the group average also. Generally you may find that not many people in the group could make many observations. Few participants might not have written even one or two observations. Allow the participants to give you the feedback on what they experienced while doing this exercise. They might tell you that it was a pretty difficult exercise for them.

Emphasize that the first step for bringing out any improvement in anything, in personal and professional life is to improve the observation skills.

You may extend this exercise by requesting the participants to identify the observations made by each one of them on human beings and inanimate objects. Show them the percentages of two types of observations- the human beings related observations and inanimate objects related observations.

You may even go further and request them to identify the observations made on "self" out of the the observations made on human beings by them. Work out and show these percentages too. The observations made on "self" might be much less, perhaps.

In most of the groups a pattern will emerge that observations made on human beings are less than the observations made on inanimate objects. And within the observations made on human beings the observations made on "self" are less than the ones made on other people.

Conclude by saying that if the participants wish to bring about the improvements within themselves, it will be necessary for them to start introspecting more and more i.e. observations within "self". And deliver your punch line by saying that your program will include these aspects.

Get Hold of the Related Books
You can order the following books on "management games and icebreakers" as printed books and eBooks from Amazon online:
  1. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  2. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers (Volume 2)
  3. Classic Team Building Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
  4. 101 Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
Related Reading: (Repository of a large number of articles in management and leadership): and

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