Improving and training a person’s memory can be a professional, as well as personal, relationship builder. I is also as a fantastic confidence builder. How often have you been assigned a job and put it aside, only to completely forget it? How often have you forgotten your spouse’s birthday or your anniversary? Improving your memory can help you keep your job, as well as keeping you out of the doghouse.
Often learning how to remember or improving your memory is as simple as learning how to listen. You say you don’t have a problem hearing? Nearly everyone believes that he or she is a good listener. Hearing and listening, however, are two different things, and it makes a world of difference when it comes to memorizing names and faces, or important things people are saying to you. Memory improves as listening improves.
“It’s surprising how much of memory is built around things unnoticed at the time”~ Barbara Kingsolver, American writer and activist, 1955
Very few people believe they actually need to develop better listening skills. The fact is, listening effectively is something that very few of us can do. Listening is an art, and it takes a conscious effort and discipline to learn this skill. It’s not because listening effectively is so difficult, it’s because we have never developed the habits to make us effective listeners.
Research has found that by listening effectively you can avert conflict, gain the trust of those around you, and better understand how to motivate others. You also will inspire a higher level of commitment from your staff and peers, and build better relationships at home. Effective listening is effective leadership.
Listening also increases your memorization. When you are actively engaged and focused in listening it is much easier to absorb the information into your memory. Take an introduction to a new client, for instance. When a client is introduced, and you are focusing entirely on them, you will be reading their face as they approach you and placing their features into your memory. When they say their name then you will associate the name with the features, and be able to recall it later.
When actively listening, restrain yourself from reacting or judging what that person is saying. Simply allow the words to sink in. Ask questions, paraphrase to make sure you didn’t misunderstand, takes notes if you can or need to, and concentrate on the message.
You will be amazed at what you actually hear if you allow yourself to pay attention to the whole message, and not your interpretation of it. This will make for a more effective communicator, improve your productivity, allow you to develop better relationships and business contracts, and improve your memory.
Mind Tools — Active Listening: http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/ActiveListening.htm
eHow Family — Repeating & Listening Techniques: http://www.ehow.com/info_8618710_repeating-listening-techniques-memory.html