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3 Ways to Be Unforgettable to Everyone You Meet

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Have you ever met someone, had a conversation, and then you part ways only to know that there is a possibility you will see them again? When you do see them again, do you struggle to remember much in regards to the conversation? You see that specific person, and are hoping they do not address you by name since you cannot remember theirs?

This use to be a huge issue for me especially when I would meet someone new in a meeting, have a conversation about their past year and family, but yet forget about almost all of it by the next time I see them.

There is a system I implemented that may sound crazy, but it works wonders and all one needs is a voice recorder.

Here are three easy ways to impress someone by remembering things about them:

1. Record yourself speaking about the subject of interest after the interaction happens

An example is when going on a date and learning something new about them, I would leave at the end of the date, take out my voice recorder on my phone and repeat anything that I could remember from our conversation such as names, dates, employment, cute quirks, or even her favorite things.

This allowed me to go back and listen to the recording before I saw her again, so when we spoke, I would use more personable words that the majority of people would not remember, but I did. For example, instead of saying “How is your brother doing?” I would say “How is [insert name of brother]?”

For most people, family is very personal, and so remembering the little things such as their names, takes one a very long way. This created a sense of trust, comfort, and feeling as though I was different than the “other men” they had dated.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey

2. Engage in active listening

This might seem obvious, but I am shocked when I see how many people are engaged in passive listening, or are thinking about what they are going to say while the person they are speaking with is talking. When one actively listens, they fully concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what is being said.

An example is that someone may ask someone “How was your day?” After the person responds, they reply not with a follow up question about their day, but bringing back to conversation to them. This is a big no no. One must inquire if they say “My day was good,” then ask “Why was it good!” “What was the best part of your day?” Have them talk more so you can truly understand why their day was good.

 

3. Ask questions

Make sure to always ask questions. I have realized that the more I am focused on the conversation, the more I can ask follow up questions without forcing the conversation. One’s goal should be to ask such great follow up questions that the person they are speaking to does not realize that they are still talking. Before they know it, you will know much more about them than they do about you, and that keeps you interesting and mysterious.

Everyone wants to feel valued, loved, and cared for, so by using this technique, you will remember specific details about your conversation that will astonish the other person.

They will find that you are different and actually care, which is the whole purpose of recording whatever details you can remember after the conversation. Be different so that you can be unforgettable to everyone you meet.

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” – Voltaire

You should always strive to be unforgettable to everyone that you meet. Have you ever used any of these techniques to be unforgettable? Leave your comments below.

Armando Quintana III strives to make every day a novel one by treating his life as one big experiment. He's a published writer, signed model, created an educational non-profit, and worked with multiple start-ups helping them excel in sales and marketing. He can be reached @armandoq3 on Instagram or Facebook.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Liam Wanjiku

    Dec 1, 2018 at 12:22 am

    WOA! Sound crazy But Way INSPIRING, Thanks a bunch!

  2. Armando

    Oct 18, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Thank you Bella. I appreciate the feedback and I hope it works well for you.

  3. Bella

    Oct 14, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    This is really so remarkable…Thank You for sharing. Should implement in daily life..will sure see the results. Even in this busy world …such good thoughts.

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Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?

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When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.  

Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.

Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!

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