It’s happens to everyone. The boss and a direct report are having a discussion during which there is a sudden, important interruption. When they try to return to their conversation, neither can remember their place in the discussion.
With a bit of attention, such absentmindedness can easily be overcome.
Of course, it is best to avoid ever entertaining an interruption. But they do happen. In those instances, before you redirect your attention, momentarily collect one or two points and repeat them several times in your mind. THEN, go ahead and redirect your attention. That alone often proves sufficient and will make you appear as if you are a memory expert.
Another technique is to use the linkage technique. A role model of mine, Harry Lorayne, has written many books on building powerful memories. One of the techniques of his is to link or associate in an absurd way to something useful for recalling the items.
To illustrate the linking technique, let’s assume you and your employee were discussing three issues preventing the employee from reaching quota: snowstorm, car repairs, and poor lead generation from the marketing dep’t. Then the interruption occurs. Quickly remember something silly about car, snow, and leads, perhaps a mental image of a lead balloon with arms driving a tiny car through a huge snowbank and associate that to the employee by having the car bump into the employees ear or nose as it emerges from the big snowbank. Now take to your interruption and confidently return to your conversation with the employee. “Okay. So you were talking about poor lead generations, car repairs and our recent snow storm. Let’s pick up from there.”
For useful memory books check with Amazon.com or run a GOOGLE search for Harry Lorayne.