Is your working memory really working for you?

Working memory is a very important brain activity.  Your working memory stores knowledge as it comes in, lets you sort and pull out the information you need when you need it, and helps you apply it to your current situation.  It helps you makes sense of what is going on in your world.

Our working memory capacity shapes the strategies we use to work through information that comes at us during the day.

We are not all gifted with a strong working memory. (What was your name again?)

Are you great at telling stories or are you more likely to tell a joke and forget the punch line?  Those are signs of how strong your working memory might be.   Remember, though, that if the story is important to you it’s going to be stored safely in your brain and you will visit it often, which makes recalling it an easy task.  A joke, on the other hand, is unlikely to be important to you so it will be relegated deeper into the dark spaces of your mind, making it harder to retrieve.

Working memory has a limited capacity.  We can only accurately remember a few things, and remember them for less than a minute.  As a child you may have played the old party game where you are allowed to look at and memorise assorted items for a minute and then have to try to list them all.  You couldn’t do it, could you?

If our working memory is so limited, how can it help us process information during our day when there is so much to take in and apply?

In his TED talk Peter Doolittle gives us some strategies which help.  Here are just a couple of them.

First he tells us that we need to process our information on the spot, not a week later when much of the memory subtlety has gone.  He suggests asking yourself questions about the information such as “Do I agree?” and “How can I apply this?”  We need to do it repeatedly so the process becomes a habit.

He also suggests that we are perhaps doing things backwards by trying to apply the new knowledge to our existing circumstances.  He says that by doing the other way around – wrapping the new knowledge in current circumstances – we make the new information much more meaningful.  It is then more likely to stick longer in our memories.

I think it’s important to realise that your working memory might receive stronger signals from different sources.  You might remember things you’ve seen better than you’ve heard or vice-versa.  Knowing your strengths is important when you are deliberately trying to remember something.  If you can format it to suit your strengths, your working memory won’t have to struggle.

Peter Doolittle’s TED talk is interesting and entertaining, and it makes some important points. It will change the way you acquire and process your own information and has implications for the way you present information to your team.

Jump over and watch the clip.  It is worth it.

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616



leadership course
leadership course free trial online
leadership course harvard business school
leadership courses for managers
basic leadership course
leadership crash course
online leadership course
leadership courses melbourne
leadership courses sydney
management and leadership course online free trial
leadership skills online course free trial
strategic leadership free online course trial
leadership development programs harvard business school
organizational leadership course
strategic leadership course
leadership training courses for managers
leadership courses for new managers
leadership courses for project managers
leadership courses for middle managers
leadership courses for senior managers
best leadership courses for managers
leadership development program for managers
leadership training program for managers
leadership program for new managers
leadership reaction course events
leadership reaction course manual
leadership reaction course army
leadership reaction course ideas
leadership reaction course answers
leadership reaction course solutions
leadership reaction course ocs
leadership reaction course usmc
basic leadership course requirements
basic leadership course reflective essay
online leadership courses
online leadership courses queensland
online leadership courses free trial
online leadership courses with certificate
online leadership courses for high school students
online leadership courses australia
leadership and management courses online free
leadership training videos online free
free leadership courses online australia
harvard online leadership courses free
free nursing leadership courses online
free online leadership courses for high school students
leadership courses melbourne online
leadership courses melbourne
leadership training melbourne
leadership programs melbourne
womens leadership courses melbourne
womens leadership courses sydney
womens leadership courses brisbane
womens leadership courses adelaide
executive leadership courses melbourne
executive leadership courses sydney
executive leadership courses brisbane
executive leadership courses adelaide
leadership development courses sydney
leadership courses workshops sydney
leadership course sydney
leadership coaching course sydney
leadership course north sydney
leadership and management courses sydney
leadership and management short courses
women in leadership
programs for women
keynote speaker
motivational speaker
emerging leaders
courageous leadership
sonia mcdonald
courses for women
executive coach
leadership coach