19 Jul Are smart phones making you dumb? Is tech blunting your memory?
Here are a few tips to improve your recall and be remembered by others as well.
1. Three is the magic number
3. Use Mnemonics
If you lost your phone and had to call someone important in an emergency, would you remember their number? Do you find information hard to recall at crucial times?
The key to being remembered is to understand how people digest information effectively. It helps others remember information you impart to them, and if you use the same principles for yourself, it will help you remember better as well.
For the past twelve years I have taught a course called Think on Your Feet®. It helps you be concise, brief, and memorable when you speak, by revealing ten structures behind good communication. It is an excellent course, so when I wrote my own book, Emotional Judo®: Communication Skills to Handle Difficult Conversations and Boost Emotional Intelligence, I incorporated some of the concepts. It’s been a best seller on Amazon for four months, so hopefully I did something right. (If you want info on either course, contact me here.)
People often forget the diplomatic way to say things when they get anxious or irritated in a difficult conversation. So, any training they have in this area needs to be memorable and on call!
Three is the magic number when speaking to another. One point may not be enough to get an argument over the line. Two points may be oppositional. Three points is enough information to influence and not too much that it will be forgotten.
When posting blogs or writing emails you may be able to stretch it to five because the reader can remember more when the information is written.
But what if you have eight steps or fifteen, how does that fit?
This was an issue I faced in Emotional Judo® with an eight-step formula for bringing up potentially volatile issues with people. It’s called U WIN/I WIN. I couldn’t just bury three steps; it wouldn’t work for the user or receiver!
You can probably guess how I solved it. Remember how you remembered eight-digit phone numbers before mobile phones?
Chunk them! So, eight steps becomes two parcels of four. Fifteen would be 3 points x 5.
To be remembered or remember for yourself break down your info into larger topics with sub topics under them.
And for the final icing on the cake. To really remember at times of importance or stress, create mnemonics. (Silent first m.)
A mnemonic is a structure that helps you remember information. It could be an acronym, a rhyme, an associated fact or visual (good for remembering names). There are many kinds of mnemonics.
So, U WIN/ I WIN is chunked as well as being a mnemonic. And even the mnemonic is special because apart from each letter of the acronym prompting each step, the idea held in the acronym itself, you win first then I can win, helps the user remember the overarching premise.
So if you can, use three, chunk, and use mnemonics. And a bit of repetition doesn’t go astray either…haha.
Next blog. I’ll share the eight steps of U WIN/ I WIN.
If you want info on either Think on Your Feet® or Emotional Judo®: Communication Skills to Handle Difficult Conversations and Boost Emotional Intelligence, contact me here.)