A Great Holiday Exercise
“Memory…is the diary that we all carry about with us.”
This is a different slant on my ongoing blogs. I urge you to take some time and join me for a while. It’s a personal journey with lasting implications, while at the same time, with application to the world of interviewing and communications.
These blogs are always a challenge for me. Finding that right topic of interest and benefit to those in the field and conveying it in a way to make a difference in their lives, weighs on me. This topic presents a new challenge, sharing personal and impactful information and hoping my words do it justice.
My wife, Cathy, had surgery on November 1st of this year. It wasn’t huge surgery, but caused significant anxiety prior to it. It was parathyroid surgery, which results in surgeons cutting into the neck. Well, I now understand that concept is huge for females; it can really mess with your wardrobe choices. I make light, but I get it.
The surgery went well, but when I got called to the recovery room, my wife of 15 years did not know me. She had retrograde amnesia (likely result of anesthesia) which had robbed about the last 15 years of her memories, completely. She didn’t know we lived in Georgia, no memories of our 17 year old son, and our extensive travel with our business over the last 4 years, gone. Needless to say, it’s been a tumultuous month and one half. I could go on ad nauseam about this, but I’m sure you have gotten the point. Think for a moment of the significance of this to you if it happened?
We went back to her hometown and parents house for Thanksgiving, because she remembered those days. I was hoping familiarity would help in this struggle. It really didn’t, and understandably she feels quite lost and disconnected, although you wouldn’t know it most days. She came up with whatI am writing about. Her and our 17 year old’s birthday are December 7th, so Cathy’s request for birthday gifts this year to family was to write her three important memories from the last 15 years. I was happy to comply,but didn’t clearly value, nor understand the significance of the request.
So here is where I challenge you. Think about those significan people in your life. Consider doing this for them. They may not have lost their memory, but the impact could be incredible. Who does this anymore? Heck no, we’d rather send one of those meaningful texts or an Amazon gift card. By the way, how many Holiday cards have you received?
I sat down to write and was overwhelmed. Which memories? How to convey? I started writing and couldn’t stop. I chose to write a newsletter. Frankly, it put me through the emotional wringer, trying to convey the physical, emotional, and every aspect of the event. How do I convey it? I wrote a lot, but learned a lot too! I couldn’t cut it to three, so I wrote four memories and left several additional pages for memories I need to keep writing.
Surprisingly, all asked for their memories, complied and wrote them. I learned a lot from all. Cathy was overwhelmed by each, as you might expect. She learned and prospered from them, as did we.
Hey Mark! What about interviewing and investigations? What does this have to do with my auditing? The answer is; we have to invest in what we do, and invest wholeheartedly. We have to connect with people at a heart level, whether colleagues or wrongdoers. I speak in training all the time about the value of rapport, but the value comes from the depth of that rapport. The depth relates to rapport that is felt at heart level.
Sometimes, like my example above, the interview is about trying to make someone whole. It’s about bringing them back into an equilibrium that has been altered by possibly their wrongful action. To do this we must connect, establish commonality, earn trust, and persuade. Are we invested enough to accomplish this, or are we plodding along here like we are in life? The rule of reciprocity dictates that if we invest fully, our return will be fuller. We don’t do it for that reason, but that is the result.
So how about it? Break the new traditions of not writing, and return to the old. Who is someone important in your life that needs to hear of their impact on your life? The benefit of investing here, like in our work life will be felt byboth parties, believe me. Set some time aside this holiday season and invest. Add value to your world. #communication #interviewing #memory #make a difference
Anderson Investigative Associates is positioned to custom tailor training to your specific needs. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss the above or any training need, please reach out to us. Additional issues pertaining to interviewing and investigations can be found in other blogs that I have written and are contained in most blocks of instruction that our company presents. If you know others that would benefit from our content and training, “please don’t keep us a secret.” Tell them.
If you have additional questions or comments, give me a shout. If there is a topical area you would like be to address, please send it my way.
In the meantime, be well and be safe out there. And please enjoy the Holiday season with those that are dearest in your life.
Mark A. Anderson
Director of Training and Development
Anderson Investigative Associates, llc
128 Oarsman Xing, St. Marys, GA 31558