Pattern recognition is a powerful tool that we use every day, often without even realizing it. Our brains are constantly on the lookout for patterns, helping us make sense of the world around us.
For instance, when we see a series of objects arranged in a certain way, we automatically interpret it as a meaningful sequence, such as a row of houses or a line of traffic. This ability to recognize patterns also allows us to make predictions about future events. If we see someone repeatedly exhibiting certain behaviors, we can reasonably assume that they will continue to do so in the future.
However, if we notice someone deviating from a usual pattern, it can be a sign that something unusual is about to happen. Failing to recognize patterns can cause us to miss important clues or overlook potential solutions to problems.
When you identify something that stands out, assess the impact it has on others. Is it positive or negative? Consider the effects of their actions on others. Armed with this information, you can approach a person or team in an informed manner.
Pattern analysis can reveal insights such as whether people are growing and expanding or not, how fast they are working, or external influences on a problem. This understanding provides you with a sense of the context in which they are working, enabling you to make informed decisions.
Spotting outliers can help you find areas of improvement and identify where changes are occurring without a clear explanation. Recognizing an outlying situation can also indicate that improvement is required. You may need to adjust your approach in a situation to become more consistent with your overall strategy.
For new leaders, spotting outliers in a situation can help you quickly identify where to focus your energy. Determine what caused the instance to be an outlier and why. Is it something to be celebrated or something to be corrected?
Imagine you are a manager at a retail store, and you notice that one of your employees consistently exceeds their sales targets, while the rest of the team performs at an average level. This employee’s performance is an outlier. In this case, you should investigate the reasons behind their exceptional performance. Are they using a unique sales approach? Are they more knowledgeable about the products? By understanding the factors that contribute to their success, you can share these insights with the rest of the team and potentially improve overall performance.
On the other hand, if you notice that an employee is consistently underperforming, you should also address this outlier. Determine the cause of their poor performance and provide the necessary support or training to help them improve.
By identifying patterns and deviations, you can quickly focus your energy on areas that require improvement or celebrate successes that stand out.