Thursday, December 18, 2014
I have never been a big fan of homework (my grades throughout school reflected that.) I went to so far in college to declare that I would never do homework on a Friday or Saturday (my grades definitely reflected that.) I do remember one of my college professors once saying that if I just came to class, I would pass. If I did extra work (homework) I'd get an A or a B. The same applies to being a good conversationalist. If you only listen to the person you are talking to...you can fake your way through the discussion. But if you go home and digest what that person said to you earlier in the day, you'll remember more of the conversation and you'll be able to have a much deeper discussion with that person the next time you chat.
Occasionally at my work I will walk with someone from the parking lot into the radio station, if we both arrive at the same time. It takes about 10 minutes. One time I was walking with a co-worker who I knew had just bought a house. I asked how it was going, how the process of buying went, if it was her dream house, what they had to do to fix it up. She eventually asked if I owned or rented and then if I was ever going to buy a house. I said funny you should ask, we put an offer on a house the day before and we're waiting to see if it was accepted. I see that co-worker just about every day. Do you know how many times she followed up with me to see if we got that house? Exactly ZERO times!
I thought we had a pretty cool little conversation (as cool as you can have with a co-worker.) I'll give her credit and assume she was listening to me, but as soon as we went our own ways...my tidbit that I was waiting to hear back on buying a house went right out of her brain.
Anybody that has ever bought a house knows its a big freakin' deal. Like, your stomach is in knots until it gets resolved. If you have ever gone through the process...you can sympathize with someone who is going through it.
I just kept thinking every time I bumped into her following our conversation, she would check in and ask how it went. She never did.
For most of us, if we don't intentionally review information...it's gone forever.
A counselor once told me that if you get into the habit of replaying your day right before you go to bed, you will be able to notice habits - good and bad. You'll also be able to see the pattern to what your favorite parts of the day are. After undertaking this exercise for about two weeks, I began to realize the favorite parts of my day were always conversations where I connected with people. I shared something and then they shared something back and a genuine connection was made. What the exercise showed me on a practical level was that I was much better at connecting with people -- if I remembered what we talked about.
Doesn't it mean a lot when you see someone you haven't seen in a while and they follow up on something you talked about last time? "How was that job interview you had last week?" How is your cousin Bob that had the kidney transplant?" What it practically means is that they remembered you. Now some people just have a great memory, but others intentionally go away and think about you and your situation, process it and file it away for future use. Just having someone remember your name is cool, but what an honor it is to have someone think about you when you're not standing in front of them.
I am awful at remembering names. I can't remember where I put my keys and wallet half the time. I leave articles of clothing everywhere across the city. The point is I don't have a great memory in general, but man I remember random facts about people's lives that I've talked with and it's usually because I spent time thinking about them after the conversation.
The best part of this homework is that it doesn't take very long to make information stick, One minute or two at the end of your day is all you need to process something and file it away.
P.S. If I could figure out how to make a Wikipedia entry about myself it would read: Never studied on a Friday or Saturday in college and invented the phrase "Lets Do This"!