Each of us has the potential to see patterns. Call it what you like – the ability to connect the dots, informed intelligence or wisdom – possessing an ability to ask questions, uncover truth and see patterns creates real advantages for some and can lead to breakthroughs for others.  

Pattern recognition helps to make you smarter. Why? Because it serves to inform. For bold leaders and keen observers – those who pay close attention to others habits and behaviors – decoding patterns can be transformative.  

Business leaders, founders and mentors are routinely asked to share their vision by mentors and those striving to understand how to get ahead of the curve.  

This week encourage your team to intentionally play detective and explore the art and science of searching and finding patterns. Embolden members of your organization to schedule time to informally interview their coworkers, leaders or, if more appropriate, external key customers and to actively pursue the practice of pattern recognition.  

Provide a list of potential open ended questions, such as these:

  • What is the best advice you received – or wish you’d received – when you were just starting out (in your current role, career)?
  • Looking back, are there things you would have done differently as you pursued (or prepared) for your current role or career path?
  • If “hindsight is 20/20” what career decision or choice would you change? Why?

Prepare the team with rules of engagement and be sure to communicate this is a “work-in-progress,” a learning experiment. And then, see where their curiosity takes them.  

Creating an experience for open listening, dialogue and exchange can be a gift. Oftentimes, it is in the asking that we uncover a few moments of magical surprise and the gems emerge from deeper understandings.