Working on Your Memory is Good for Business
A fundamental truth about human memory is that our brains are better at retaining images than they are random snippets of language. Think back to your earliest memory; now think back to the first words you remember saying or hearing. Which date is earlier? Almost certainly the earlier one will be the memory of pictures, not sounds.
“There are many instances where remembering can give you a huge advantage,” says US-based memory expert Chester Santos. He cites attending a networking function and being unable to remember someone’s name or business sector. “You’re missing an opportunity to build a rapport with people. When you can remember their name and other things about them, it tells them they are important to you. That in turn makes them want to get to know you better. The opposite is also true.”
He also believes it will make you better at your job. A good memory means that, instead of rummaging through pages of notes, you are likely to give more engaging presentations with plenty of eye contact, and will run more productive meetings that could give you more work.
The easiest way to remember important information is by attaching a visual cue to it. For example, if the name you need to remember is Deirdre Banks, you could imagine a deer on the banks of a hillside. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous or unlikely the image is, as long as it prompts you to recall the name.
Like a muscle, the brain needs a workout to improve. Santos says our love affair with gadgetry means we rely less on our brains and increasingly on files stored on devices. He advocates ditching the smartphone. “I recommend first dialling a number from memory and if you can’t, go to the address book. It’s an easy way to practice daily and it’s also good exercise in general. Numbers are everywhere: confirmation numbers, flight details, credit card numbers, passport numbers. When other people are fumbling through their bags, I can just remember them, which saves time.”
Are you consciously working on improving your memory?
Adapted from an article by Dan Matthews, guardian.com