Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

January 26, 2021

The Power of Noticing

The Power of Noticing

I'm very fortunate to meet many wonderful coaches, trainers, and consultants in my day to day work. Janice Cohen is one of those people. Specializing in healthcare leadership, Janice supports those who support us. I've worked with Janice and watched her courageously coach leaders to discover their personal strengths and values, and the behaviors and experiences necessary to meet these challenging times.

I loved her recent post, which struck a chord that is near and dear to my heart--the power of noticing. I think you'll enjoy and learn from it, as I did.....

The Power of Noticing

~ By Janice Cohen

Perhaps noticing seems too passive an action to have any effect on how we achieve influence in our professional or social life. We often expect noticing to be an automatic condition that needs little effort. Did you notice the shirt he was wearing? Did you notice how angry he was when you mentioned it? Did you notice the clouds this morning? We pass through life noticing at a superficial level and therefore learning little beyond the obvious. As a result, we limit the amount of information we collect that might better inform us of the situation we are observing.

When I work with individuals or groups, I sometimes ask them to enter a room, a meeting, a part of the organization and restrict themselves to only noticing

  • How are people engaging with each other?
  • Do people seem comfortable?
  • What is the level of conversation?
  • Who seems in charge vs. who is dominating?

Unfortunately, too many of us are concerned about how we are presenting ourselves rather than what is the environment that we have entered. It can be uncomfortable to limit ourselves to noticing vs fully participating. However, when we participate we become more “I” centered – deciding what to say, how to say it, measuring the responses. We become selective in what we hear and how we respond and thereby reducing the amount of information we gain.

Once we can bring ourselves to a place of active noticing, we need to become aware of the screen through which we notice. We all have biases so we cannot eliminate them, but we can own them. How are we judging the interactions of others that might reflect these biases? Who are we attracted to and why? Does this place seem welcoming to me? Why or why not? Noticing what we notice is great information that can help us avoid misinterpretations of what we notice.

When you’ve managed to observe your environment with your “objective “ senses, you can decide how you can be most effective and influential in a given situation.


Janice Cohen is a professional and time proven leadership coach. With particular expertise in the Maine healthcare and medical fields, Janice employs a reflective, thought-provoking process that inspires her clients to produce fulfilling results that maximize their personal and professional potential. Janice will listen, observe, question and offer insights that addresses their individual experiences and goals.

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