Contact Mapping is all about teaching you how to build stronger relationships through remembering the important details about your daily interactions - in both your personal and professional life. Our temptation is to think we will remember the things that people share with us, but the truth is that we remember only a fraction and often can't recall it in the moment we need it.
Try reflecting on a recent conversation (especially with a new acquaintance). Chances are you remember some key points of the "bio", such as the other person's occupation, how you met them, etc. Try to remember: did they share the name of their spouse or children? Did they share something they had coming up that was important? Did they mention a source of stress or concern in their life? How much do you remember about those things? These details are so important, but they are often the first to slip away with the passage of time.
As you look to build relationships with others, you have to shift your listening away from what matters to you and onto what matters to them. If you can focus your attention and energy on the other person's priorities, this is where true relationship growth can occur.
To support that, you need to remember to Contact Map (annotate) the things that were important to the other person. What was the event they had coming up the following week? What was the physical ailment they were struggling with? When you can follow-up and ask about their priorities, it demonstrates true listening and care.
Our natural tendency is to listen through the filter of "what matters to me?". When you shift and listen for what matters to them, and then take the moment to record that and follow-up, you will be amazed by the shift that occurs in the strength of your relationships.
Photo credit: Brandon Lopez