Observation is often the key to positive change. Yet observation can be a difficult activity. The challenge with objective observation is that our opinions, view of the world, and pre-conceived ideas focus our brain on what we expect to see. So how do you get past this? Practice and repetition. Make observations on a regular basis. Write down just what you see without making judgements about it. Look for objective things such as time, movement, facial expressions, or numbers. Actually count the number of phone calls. Time how long a transactions takes. Watch the technician’s walking path as they perform an oil change. By starting with observations of things that can actually be measured you will get better making objective observations.
A second tactic you can employ is to have multiple people make observations. We all have a perspective and although a single person’s perspective may not be the truth, a number of perspectives put together can unveil the truth of a situation. Have three or more people make observations on the same process, procedure, or facet of your business. Meet to discuss what each of you observed. You will begin to find some commonalities that can then be addressed.
Make sure to take time quarterly to observe your business practices!