Our brains take in tons of data through the course of a day, or a lifetime. Our minds then kick into to gear to make sense of the data we take in -- to slice it, dice it, categorize it, assess it, etc.
Almost all of this data collection, this "seeing," is done on automatic pilot, without our ever consciously knowing it's going on. It's just like how our brain makes sure the old heart keeps pumping; no conscious effort required on our part.
What makes the minds of those who are particularly adept at influencing others different is that they are in a continuous process of learning, learning to go beyond seeing and getting to the level of observing.
Observing is the realm of the intentional processing of data, the discerning of environmental aspects, the assessing of contextual elements, the gauging of social dynamics, the examination of political antecedents, the evaluating of psychological variables, the forecasting of potentialities.
The most effective leaders are masters at observing. They know that "seeing" is simply not enough.