Smarts

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Become Smarter: Recognition Is Stronger Than Recall

What to do when you can't recall something.

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You can recognize things that you can't recall. For example, one Easter morning in Kennesaw, Georgia the water pump on my old car gave out. While I was waiting in the auto repair shop a man came in and said, "I stayed in a hotel last night, but I can't remember the name. It had a big yellow sign with red letters." The repair guys gave him a blank stare so I said, "Look in the phone book." Speaking slowly and louder, he repeated, "I can't remember the name." I said, "Recognition is stronger than recall." He looked in the phone book, looked surprised, thanked me, and went to his hotel.

Tad Waddington, Ph.D. is the author of Lasting Contribution: How to Think, Plan, and Act to Accomplish Meaningful Work, a book that has won five prestigious awards.

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