September 16th, 2008
I am fond of telling people that I have an excellent memory, it’s just a little short! Memory is a funny thing and sometimes I am amazed at what some people can remember, and also I can be embarrassed when I forget things.
Accepting that my memory is not one of my finer points … I have over the years developed ways to compensate. The best thing I do for myself is to take a lot of notes … which is a good habit to have, whether your memory is good or not. The reality is that everyone will forget little details from meetings and notes are a great way to ensure nothing is missed.
I can amaze myself too, with some of the things that I remember. Driving down to Toronto last week we were playing some old Beatles songs and I knew all the words. I probably haven’t listened to the Beatles in 25 years, but the words were “in there”.
So how important is a good memory anyway?
I know that I am impressed when people remember me and things about me from previous meetings. I get embarrassed if I forget someone’s name, and I would sooner not be caught like that. I think it is impressive when people can refer back to the business books they have read when discussing business issues … and I’m not always good at that.
In the staffing industry a good memory for names and skills is a critical skill for recruiters. To be able to come up with names top of mind is very powerful and a big differentiator between the top recruiters and the “rest”.
I have written previously about the narrow margin that exists between winners and losers so ANY advantage that you can give yourself is a good thing. Working on your memory is one way to give yourself an edge over competition for a job, or even to differentiate when talking with clients.
It turns out that there are plenty of things that you can do to work on your retention. I have attended several seminars designed to improve retention, mostly by using techniques and tools, however I have not been consistent in using these ideas. If you would like to do something to improve your memory you might want to take a look at this article on Wikihow. It seems pretty comprehensive and not only has practical ideas we can all implement, like exercising the brain, but also talks about some of the tools and techniques we can work on.
I’ll try and remember to blog tomorrow!