By Paul A. Douglas, Ph.D, founder & CEO, P.A. Douglas & Associates Inc.
To master your memory is to invite success in business, in education, and your relationships. A good memory is an absolute necessity in today’s competitive work environment. In your professional life, as well as in your social life, the ability to remember names and faces, speak publicly without the need for written notes and recall dates, appointments, numbers and other critical data is of immeasurable importance.
The executive, manager or administrative professional with a trained memory will see an improvement in his or her business life. Confidence will increase as will productivity. Memory improvement is an essential topic in management development. In the past, it was mostly entertainers who taught these vital business skills. Their emphasis being on delivering amazing demonstrations of memory prowess or providing tricks for remembering playing cards, rather than offering useful tools for improving an individual’s business or professional skills.
In my book, Memory for Management I demonstrated how a good, or more accurately, a trained memory could provide you with a strategic advantage in today’s competitive workplace environment. Your ability to speak publicly without the need nor even the desire for written notes is an incredible skill that increasingly you will find useful. As you advance in your career, you will be called upon to speak in meeting, deliver training sessions and conduct interviews. In your personal life as well there will be many times when you are asked, often with short notice, to speak at important occasions – speaking in church or temple, delivering a eulogy or offering a ‘toast to the bride.’ It is essential that you can do so with poise and confidence without the reliance on written notes. As well if there is just one thing that can significantly enhance your interpersonal skills, it is learning to remember people’s names. It is an arrow every AP should have in her or his quiver. If a customer, client or member of your organization’s senior staff visits your manager briefly not to return for several months and in so doing you can greet them by name, they will rightfully recognize you as the professional that you are. Effective memory techniques and skills are not difficult to learn. In short order, you can become remarkably competent in their application.
It’s not how “smart” you are that determines your success in remembering. It is the habits you develop and systems you use. Having taught memory skills to administrative professionals for more than forty years, I can tell you that you do not have to be a genius to remember everything you need to know; indeed the research shows that the relationship between intelligence and memory is tenuous at best. The simple truth is that almost everyone can see a remarkable improvement in their ability to remember by the development and application of a few simple mnemonic skills. On this HUB I have provided a couple of short articles on the essential memory skills we present at our public administrative professionals’ course.