Maximizing Your Memory to Make Better Connections

I’ve met some amazing people since moving back to New York over six months ago. From razor-sharp colleagues to new connections in passing, the human capital in the city comes in abundance. One of the most remarkable people I have met since settling in though may not be someone you would expect: one of the doormen at my building.  This one doorman has charisma and cares deeply but what impresses me most is another powerful influencing and business building tool. Memory.

Humble and kind, he would not want me to tell the world his name, but he shares his first name with a city in Florida that is home to Disney. This doorman memorizes everyone’s name in the building and the floor in which they live on. Not a big deal, you may think, but this building is the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere with more than 70 floors and 800 units (as of now).  He can recall the names of anyone who walks by him, along with the names of their kids and pets.

An outstanding memory is an underrated business trait. It is a gift for people who have a good one and should be weakness that you look to strengthen if you have a bad one.

Memory helps to build connections.

Business heavily relies on relationship building, so start becoming a biographer. Each time you meet someone new, in a working capacity, attempt to learn enough about them casually where you can create a biographical summary. Understand the cast of characters in their life, where they came from, their family dynamic and what they love. This seems basic but doesn’t happen enough. If you can timeline their life or career along with any accomplishments they achieved, it will help you understand how they operate but also build a better connection.

Related: How to Recover Professionally When the Client Just Did’t Trust You

Memory helps to build trust. A good device or question to ask yourself at each meeting or with each relationship you have is, “What is the most important thing in this person’s world right now?”  If you can remember what is consuming someone’s mind the most when you first meet him or her, it will go a long way when we inquire when you reconnect.

Here are a few tips on helping to enhance your memory:

  • Challenge your brain frequently by breaking routines. Try a new route home to work or shop at a different store. This can help brain function which will lead to better memory.
  • Get more sleep.
  • Drink wine and green tea. (And eat more fruits and vegetables and omega 3s…which all help enhance memory.)
  • Laughing more frequently can lead greater brain function along with the possibility of helping against anxiety and depression, which cause memory loss.

Do you want the professional who can recall your last conversation like it just occurred or the professional who struggles to remember your most important objectives at hand?  Who on your team has the best memory?  How can you improve yours?

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