The Retention Factor

March 12, 2007


Do you have difficulty remembering what you hear or read? I was beginning to think it was old age, and then I ran across the following article The Retention Factor. Thanks to Ron Martoia for sharing this. It is good stuff!

All great minds have learned how to learn and how to retain.John Gardner, Harvard ProfessorWhy do some people just seem to have great memories and others of us struggle to remember where we put our car keys (well that could be an aging issue there)? The answer? All of us remember what we deem important and then store away for recall. While everyone has unconscious ways they store and retrieve important items, here are some of the strongest tips for peak performance in recall and using information you are learning or reading. And can I share with you a secret…I didn’t make these up, I was taught these by two people who I thought were genius and had amazing memories.  You know what they told me?  Both said, “I am not a genius, just disciplined at remembering what I want to remember.”  That is a big nugget.  Was it Einstein that said “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration?  Well there you go…start some new habits.1.    Take the 3rd party learning approach as much as possible. This means learning and reading as if you were going to teach the same material to someone tonight.
2.    Within 48 hours of learning something you want to seal in your memory go find someone and share it with them. No one available? Tell the cat. And you know what I hate cats
3.    Associate a memorable key word or phrase with that material, and place in a visible location for 1 week.
4.    Review your new learning once a week for 4 weeks. People don’t review.  You don’t review you won’t remember, it is that simple.
If you diligently do these four things your retention will dramatically rise and people will think you are a genius. The kingdom implications are enormous – your command of scripture, leadership principles, parenting nuggets to pass on will surprise even you.


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