Experiencing the Observer Effect

Experiencing the Observer Effect

I looked at the image and it was almost still indicating my stillness. However; upon focusing on the image for a while it started to move, and the longer I observed the image the more movement it seemed to have. I find this finding reflective of The Observer Effect. Observing something may stress it. This proved to be the case. This reminds me of managers who keep an eye constantly on employees and make them appear moving without meaning or purpose. Indirect observation is a far better way. The concept of self-organizing teams with indirect supervision from the leader is a great way to lead accordingly.

Can we manage without any direct observation occasionally and for short duration? I find this necessary. This reminds me of fish who are placed in a fish tank. If there is no stress, then the fish will not keep swimming in a limiting tank. They tend to rest. If this happens then the fish meet shall not be very tasty. To overcome this issue the Japanese fishermen came up with a great idea. To add a very small shark to the fish tank. The fish feel troubled by the presence of the shark and keep movement. This is an example of the sweet stress in which results get better with little stress.

There is a sweet zone between applying no stress at all and applying excessive stress as the figure below shows.

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It is a well-known fact that employees with no challenge of work get bored and their productivity drops. Excessive stress does the same. We need stillness, with some movement to keep people engaged and far from feeling bored as the figure below shows.

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We need to interrupt stillness occasionally with some movement. In this case, the movement is equal to challenge and it takes us to our sweet spot. Falcons do it. While on ground they interrupt their stillness by flapping their wings. The result is that they can fly later ion with more efficiency.

Is the sweet spot for people the same? I don’t think so. Antifragile people who come stronger with challenges are more immune to higher levels of stress. Challenges make them stronger. Other people are resilient up to some level of stress. And there are fragile like glass when stressing them. A leader should know when and who is challenging if (s)he aims at improving the performance of her/his staff. The sweet spot for people varies accordingly.


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Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

You remind ed me of a story that I read sometime ago about a milkman who too oath that he never added water to milk. Later, he admitted to someone who was observing him that he didn't lie because he added milk to water and not water to milk as others thought.Luckily, I found the link. Here it is: https://o-meditation.com/2011/10/24/the-observer-is-the-observed-osho/

CityVP Manjit

CityVP Manjit

2 years ago #20

My all time favourite in this area continues to be Jiddu Krishnamurti's profound observation that "the observer is the observed".

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#24
Dear Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic published a great buzz today, which I gladly shared. It is titled "Harry, Sally and Fay". https://www.bebee.com/producer/@ian-weinberg/harry-sally-and-fay On Harry, I an wrote "Strange as it may seem, Harry would perceive himself as a fearful individual that risked being ignored and having needs left wanting. Consequently Harry’s authentic view of himself would reflect how others reacted to him". So, my answer to your question and answer is yes. Some people react as others expect them to do.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #18

#17
One thing also came to my mind regarding the Effect. If a subject under observation changes as the result of being observed, does the observed person changes for better or worse? I've recently read that some study shows that even the illusion of being observed alter how people behave and present the "perfect" version of themselves. Doesn't it mean being fake?

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#22
Do I agree with your statement "But intellectual and creative minds have a somewhat similar behaviour by making good use of that sweet spots in timely manner". Surely, I do dear Tausif Mundrawala. Thank you for sharing your lovely insights.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#20
Dear Tausif Mundrawala- life changes and very fast. Not only the wind of change accelerates, but also the direction of the wind. This is a very stressing situation and to assume the sweet spot of yesterday is today's might be an over-simplification. I agree with your statement "Some people are always in search of this sweet spot in order to challenge themselves constantly". We are humans, but also we have our differences. The sweet spot for someone might be not my sweet spot. I am like you in that resting for a long time may be catastrophic for me as well. I find it more rewarding to take frequent short periods of resting my mind. It shall be never a complete rest for me because I find that I create most of my buzz ideas during those short time spans. There is movement is stillness. Great to read your comment my friend because it aroused my mind.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#18
Thank you Bill King for contributing a very sound comment. Yes, I agree that different doses of observation and supervision are needed, depending on the nature of employees. An engaged and self-motivated employee doesn't require observation and more of indirect supervision. The less engaged employees and those who feel entitled and privileged a different approach is needed. Harvey Lloyd e-mailed me recently a powerpoint presentation with voice over. It is so subtle and I believe, based on the quality of his presentation, is fully authored to add his voice here as well.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#16
You remind me of emotional stress dear Lada and how it produces a curve like stress-strain curve. Like materials differ in their stress-strain curves, so are emotions and people produce different curves. Emotions can take us to the burnout stage like physical stressors. So, I am in agreement with your comment. I also agree that the observer effect may lead straining the observed person. That is why controlling manager may do this frequently and this means high frequency with differing levels of resulting strains. Some people may reach their burnout stage if the impact of observing them is high.

Lada 🏑 Prkic

Lada 🏑 Prkic

2 years ago #13

Dear Ali, thank you for responding on my quick buzz (optical illusion made by "Japanese neurologist") with this post. You say that observing something may stress it. Sometimes the relationship between an observer and an observed object can change depending on the situation. When we see someone in a stressful situation, it may trigger a stress response. Such stress I experienced at my job more than once just by seeing my colleagues who were faced with difficult tasks that had to be done in a very short time. I asked in my quick buzz how much stress is "healthy". How we know that we are in the "sweet zone"? Every person reacts on the same level of pressure, or challenge (the X-axis on your graph) differently, and it affects performance accordingly. What is stressful for me it doesn't have to be stressful to someone else. It depends on many other factors and circumstances.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#14
Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador- your are an expert in explaining terms. Your comment is spot on defining what is meant by the sweet zone or sweet spot. Thank you

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Sometimes, stress is needed as a motivator. Employees can become too comfortable and underproduce. Of course, there needs to be a balance.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#12
Thank you Ian Weinberg and your analysis is spot on. I tried to emulate the inverted U shape to explain my points, but your explanation is focused and to the point. I agree completely with your analytical comment.

Ian Weinberg

Ian Weinberg

2 years ago #9

Interesting points raised Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee Of possible interest and flowing directly from your central theme is the work done by the neurophysiologist Ami Arnsten. In fact the cornerstone of one of our corporate applications is based on Arnsten's work. The summary of her work is reflected in a graph of pre-frontal performance (executive function - e.g. abstract reasoning, working memory) on the vertical Y-axis versus increasing adrenaline (stress) from zero at extreme left on the X-axis increasing to the right. The resulting graph is an inverted "U". The interpretation: With no stress/no adrenaline there is no engagement/performance. As you increase the adrenaline/stress to the right, performance increases. You then reach the highest part of the inverted "U" - maximum performance. If you increase adrenaline/stress beyond this point, performance falls off and slowly tends towards zero at the extreme right.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#7
Dear Harvey Lloyd- I completely agree with you "When we observe though, we should observe within changing the perspective,...". Observation is an art and skill and must have purpose. You explained this very well in your splendid comment. Thank you as always for enriching the discussions.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#6
Thank you, my friend Edward Lewellen. Yes, it is a balance between excessive observation and indirect observation. The leader must ensure that the team keeps the spirit to work while making sure that the team is doing work purposefully. It is our nature to demand autonomy, but too much of it may cause us to procrastinate.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#5
Thank you dear Debasish Majumder. It is human nature that tells us a little stress is sweet and is needed. Fish are the same. You may consider little stress as energizer and a call-up not to relax and procrastinate. Don't you feel that sometimes you are more productive under some pressure? We are like a half lemon with no pressure no juice shall come out of it. Your juicy mind needs little "squeezing" my friend. I appreciate your support and sharing of the buzz.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#4
MR. Oswaldo Enrique Diaz Delgado- Es un equilibrio entre la observaciΓ³n excesiva y la observaciΓ³n indirecta. El lΓ­der debe asegurarse de que el equipo mantenga el espΓ­ritu para trabajar mientras se asegura de que el equipo estΓ© trabajando a propΓ³sito.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

2 years ago #4

The last two sentences of the post grabbed my attention. "Knowing" each team members "antifragility" state is the leaders toughest job. Given a observation of this fact then we should know when to observe and when not too. The "glass", to use your metaphor, should reach the point of breaking, if we find the individual at this point and stalemated, then we should observe. When we observe though, we should observe within changing the perspective, not providing solution. Offering observation of methods that lead to stalemate would enhance the individual's view of what to do next. This is where we grow folks. Even if we know the answer it is better that the team member solve the equation on their own. They will own the answer. Enhancing antifragile existence in the next required solution. Great post as always.

Debasish Majumder

Debasish Majumder

2 years ago #3

analogy of 'fish' is amazing as this is the common trait for the superior to overbear on the inferior and surely establishing its supremacy by adopting this fashion only and human being, despite a social being unlike other creatures surprisingly adopt the same design to survive with vigor by intimidating inferiors and keeping others in jittery. i cannot comprehend how come this trait being considered as a devise to ensure healthy growth for a complementing supplement for the one who may aspire such development is essential for its prey? however, intriguing buzz sir Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee! enjoyed read and shard. thank you for the buzz.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#2
This is an interesting comment Chris \ud83d\udc1d Guest. Can there be work ethics in the absence of healthy culture? Culture is an emergent property of our behaviors. In the absence of healthy cultures I only see sour spots.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, my dear friend this buzz is my response to yours.

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