Most people in the world are audiovisual learners. They can go to a classroom and be told what to do, and do it. I forget, or even more often don’t listen in the first place. Not intentionally, sometimes I don’t hear well cause other people are talking, or sometimes I am given too many instructions at once and I only get the first or last few. If you interrupt me with new audio input mid task, I completely forget what I am doing most times, and even if I don’t, I forget everything else that was on the list.
For this reason when I need to do things, or am given multiple instructions, I need to either take them down in a list, or be given one containing all my tasks. The god news, is that writing everything your boss says down apparently comes off as very professional and responsible. Nothing I am assigned is ever forgotten.
Going back to listening. I live in a bilingual city, where in school I had “listening” tests in french…I barely passed that component of my exit exams. It’s hard to explain that yes, I got 40 on that test, but I doubt I would have gotten above a 70 in English, and I am a native speaker.
While this is one of the few things that has never really impacted my work, it more impacts my social life, where people feel that forgotten details are a sign of disinterest in what they said. Combined with my hyperfocus, being the periods where I had 110% of my attention on you and can replay a conversation verbatim from 15 years ago, it emphasizes it even more. For most people they assume I remember what I think is important and forget what I don’t. The worst part is, sometimes that is the case. But most of the time whether or not I listen, or remember what someone says depends on how “on” I am that day, and that’s one thing I have never really tried to explain, even to myself, until now.