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Zoom-In and Zoom-Out - A Life Lesson

By  Junaid Tahir On the mobile phone or camera, the zoom in feature is used to take the picture of a specific object. You ignor...

By Junaid Tahir



On the mobile phone or camera, the zoom in feature is used to take the picture of a specific object. You ignore other objects because your point of focus is this particular object. 

On the contrary, the zoom out feature is used to capture more wider area so as to cover more and more objects. This is a basic picture-taking-technique but do you know that very day we use the same technique in our brains to make mental pictures about objects and people? Here are a couple of examples:

  1. Your friend told you that tires making company ABC-Tires produce worst tires as he had recently tire burst case within three months of purchase. Based on this you made the perception that this tire company is most awful company. You ignore the fact that this company is selling thousands of tires daily. If their fault rate was this much high, the company should have been banned by the authorities. Also, you ignored that your friend might have driven his car on such an area where some sharp thing (blade, pin, nails etc) has caused the tire burst. So basically you fell under the trap of Zoom-In thing because you zoomed-in too much that you considered one particular incident instead of considering wider picture. By the way, I am not saying to ignore the tire burst thing completely; what I am emphasizing on is that don't make an All-Positive or All-Negative image about someone or something. Give proper weight to all associated factors to conclude things.
  2. You have been very supportive to this friend in his tragic moments in the past many times however couldn't meet his expectations recently at a specific difficult situation. and then he/she told you that you are the most irresponsible or disloyal person. At this particular moment your friend has 'Zoomed-in' too much in your personality that currently he is only able to see and judge about your carelessness, incapability or betrayal trait. However, ideally, he should 'Zoom-out' and see your wider overall personality and consider the things which you have done for him in the past. In this case, his Zoom-In attitudes is very much inappropriate and you are not happy about it.

Specifically for professionals here are two examples about using the Zoom-in Zoom-out tool.
1-    Use the zoom-in tool when you intend to draw your management's attention to a specific part of the large project which they are ignoring. This is to help them understand the low level details of the project. For example, if the boss asking that your project is over-budgeted then you can elaborate the micro level expenses of the project using Zoom-In.
2-   Use the zoom-out tool to let your field staff understand the big picture of the project so that he can perform their activities with more maturity. This will improve their mental horizon too.

Overall it is highly recommended to use this tool whenever you are going to conclude something whether small or big. Remember, small mistakes sometimes lead to big disasters. Hence, carefully analyze the situation and see if you are too much zoomed in or too much zoomed out? Make sure your conclusions are based on fair assessment of the situation. Also remember that sometimes you don't even have to zoom-in or zoom-out since you are already at neutral level to judge the situation.