“Clarify and Verify”

“Clarify and Verify” is perhaps one of the most POWERFUL compensatory skills (habits) an individual with cognitive inconveniences can practice.  It’s a common communication technique, but for anyone who is challenged with “mis-hearing,” “mis-remembering,” or other mis’s brain injury can cause this simple phrase often saves the day:

“Let me see if I heard you correctly.  You said (or asked me to) ___________________.  Is that right?”

Then write down the results (or speak the results into you iPad or other recording device). Not only is this good for you (the person asking for verification), it’s good for the person you are talking to.  It’s good for the relationship too.  The two-way communication “street” will be clear of clutter and misunderstanding.  And when others see you writing down the results, they will start to gain confidence that they are heard and you will know, if not remember, what was said and agreed upon. Employers are especially appreciative of this communication practice.  Don’t be surprised if they start using it, and asking others they work with to use it too!

Thank you Francis, for this valuable phrase.

Communication – Remembering what I want to say

Remembering  we want to say — when we need to have this information — can be challenging in the hustle and bustle of the workplace.  Remembering what was said, and by whom can be equally difficult.  In my experience, the solution is often to stop trying to remember these things. 

Instead, writing main points down is far more effective for KNOWING, if not remembering conversations with others.   I’d suggest recording conversations, but people don’t always like being recorded (some won’t permit it) and the retrieval process is cumbersome to boot.  I selectively record conversations these days.

In days gone past, I used “TALK TO” pages.  These were a staple in the BRAIN BOOK System, and they worked well.  A key person’s name would be written on the top of the page, and conversations would be tracked (hand written) as they happened.  This made for a lot of paper, writing was slow and retrieval was cumbersome.  But the “shell” was there with visual cues for making sure all the necessary bits could be retrieved. This strategy was better than not remembering or ascribing conversations to the wrong person. The image below is from the BRAIN BOOK System’s s”TALK TO” Section:

TALK TO image from BBS Work Manager

Subscribers to the blog who wish to use a master to make copies for these pages, are welcome to do so from the following:  TALK TO MASTER for printing

Fast forward to 2014:  Voice-to-text capability of the iPad, coupled with electronic “TALK TO” pages that are specially designed for individuals with memory challenges, make it possible to speak our notes and organize our thoughts by topics, or even exact wording for what we want to say (especially helpful if word-finding is an issue).  When results of conversations are entered (or SPOKEN), they are tracked, by person “talked to” and the software even writes a Reference Note that is key word searchable in the future.  The image below is from the My Bionic Brain “TALK TO” Section.  VALUABLE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR THE WORKPLACE!

TALK TO Screen from MyBionicBrain