One of the things that I enjoy about speaking at conferences and at various organizations is the opportunity to meet new people. In the case of the MHLC conference I spoke at last week, it was being able to meet up with friends I made from speaking at this conference for three consecutive years, as well as meeting colleagues in the leadership sphere who I had previously only connected with by email and on the phone.
Being able to spend time with these good friends was certainly one of my personal highlights from this conference. But there was something else that I came away pondering about, and it wasn’t my now infamous encounter with the drummer from ZZ Top (that’s a story for another time).
Looking back at the numerous conversations among those attending this conference, there was a couple of times where people told me how impressed they were with how well I remembered people’s names.
Now the reason why this caught my attention is because remembering names of people I just met is something I’d hardly say I’m good at, a fact I’m sure my wife will be happy to attest to given the number of times she’s had to remind me of the names of the people she works with.
The problem is that when I meet someone new, my sense of curiosity takes over and I become focused on asking questions to learn more about the person in order to develop that connection. Consequently, I end up remembering many details about the person’s life and their work – while their name tends to be a bit fuzzy around the edges.
As such, whenever I meet someone new, I do have to work at making sure I grab ahold of their name so that it sticks in my mind for more than a few minutes.
And yet, in thinking about those moments where people were impressed with my ability to recall the names of people I met a year ago, I realized that the common thread connecting them together had less to do with remembering their names and more to do with something more significant.
Something that leaders need to adopt if their are to be successful in tapping into the collective talents and experiences of those they lead.
Now to be clear, remembering a person’s name is important, but it’s only the first step in the bigger process of Click here to continue reading »”Learning To Focus On What Matters Most”