You may be attending many holiday parties and end of the year events this month. Amidst all of the frenzy, will you remember peoples’ names…will you remember your keys… will you leave the house without important items…will you remember important meetings? Our memory is frequently challenged, particularly when we are under stress.
I was driving down the highway in my Saturn when I hit a tree and broke my side view mirror. The electrodes under my hood fell to the ground. Why is this important?… These two sentences helped me remember five unrelated words. Watch this TED talk by Peter Dolittle, professor of Educational Psychology at Virginia Tech to learn more about working memory.
Working memory or short term memory, as defined by Wikipedia, is “the system that actively holds multiple pieces of transitory information in the mind, where they can be manipulated.”
Our working memory is needed to store new information, to process it, and to retrieve it as needed. Memory may be challenged for multiple reasons. First of all, as we get older, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember new information unless we use strategies. Secondly, when we multi-task and take on many projects, we may become overwhelmed and forgetful. Finally, stress, fatigue, and distractibility also compromises our memory.
We need to use working memory to maintain a conversation, to remember names, to problem solve, to evaluate information, and to remember our daily tasks. Most importantly, we must pay attention to new circumstances so was can develop strategies. When we go shopping, how do we remember the items? We can write them down, use visualization or imagery (where they appear in the store), mnemonic devices (MEB can stand for Milk, Eggs, and Bread), or even rehearsal (repeating the few items over and over). Each of us may have our own preferences. Learn how Joshua Foer utilizes “The Memory Palace” to help with memory.
Working memory doesn’t WORK unless we pay conscious attention to save that information. We must make a commitment to be engaged. When we attend networking events and want to remember people’s names, how do we do it? Watch this video from Business Insider to gain some tips.
Contact Successfully Speaking to help you with your networking and communication skills.