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Helicopter View: Meaning & 7 Smart Tips For This Quality

Helicopter View: Meaning & 7 Smart Tips For This Quality

What does it mean to have a helicopter view? And what are good tips for applying it? Read along and find all about this important skill…

What is the meaning of helicopter view?

What does helicopter view mean? What does the helicopter metaphor stand for? Sometimes it is helpful to use a metaphor to help us see the bigger picture .

When you are in the middle of a project or task, you are so close and emotionally involved that it becomes very difficult to distance yourself from what is happening and get a broader perspective.

It’s just like the famous saying “We can’t see the forest for the trees”. When we zoom out and can see the bigger picture, we call that the helicopter view.

As the helicopter takes off and gets higher and higher, it sees a bigger picture and less involved in the details on the ground floor.

So when we withdraw from an emotional situation, we can begin to see things much more clearly and rationally.

If you have a helicopter view, you will work at a higher vocational education level

In higher professional education you always learn to look from a helicopter view. In a commercial MBO study you learn how to produce something, while in a HBO study you learn to zoom out and look at the bigger picture.

How can you get a helicopter view? 7 tips

You do this, for example, by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. What happens when I look at all the facts and figures?
  2. How can I get an overview?
  3. What are main issues and what are side issues?
  4. What will happen in five years time if we do / don’t do A, B and C?
  5. What does the organization actually need?
  6. What are the trends in the environment and among customers?
  7. In addition, putting things into perspective and common sense is important to get a helicopter view.

The pitfall of having a helicopter view

People who are good at applying a helicopter view can be considered too global  . For very concrete people, it is difficult to deal with these people if not one of the two adapts his / her communication to the other.

To your success!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!

1 Comment

  1. Dennis

    “Can’t see the forest for the trees”
    Is a fun view with the takeoff of helicopter.
    The disadvantage of taking off may be that you “can no longer see the trees through the forest.

    I found this to be a helpful article, thank you.