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What We Can Learn From Instant Replay.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | June 21, 2019

No. 1,631

Image: bleacher report.com

While watching sports on TV, did you ever notice how often instant replay reveals some critical detail that you hadn’t even noticed the first time? The wide receiver stepped on the chalk line. A flagrant penalty was committed and neither you nor the referee even saw it. It occurs all of the time.

Well, the same thing happens in real life. You read something and then re-read it, discovering that you have missed an important piece of information. If you make a habit of re-reading important passages, you will usually gain insight and possibly correct an error from the first reading.

When someone tells you something important, ask her to repeat. If nothing else, this will reinforce the point in your mind. Or ask a question. Then, repeat the answer yourself or explain it in different words. You can also put it in an email, asking the person who told you to confirm that you have it right.

Writing has the advantage over reliance on memory — yours and theirs. If you have a phone conversation followed by an email, you are placing the burden on the recipient to correct you or accept your version of what was stated.

When you think you have observed something, like a physical landmark or street sign while driving, stop and look again. Make a mental note. You may need this information on the return trip. If you don’t get it right, how can you recall it accurately when you need it?

If you attend a seminar or educational lecture, why not sit down at the keyboard that evening and convert your notes to literate prose? You will be amazed how often you must analyze complex information to get it right. Notes taken in the moment are often just a string of words. They remind you of what you didn’t write down at the time because the pace was too swift. Tonight it is easy to assemble the ideas and express them with insight. A month from now, on the eve of a test, maybe not.

Make instant replay a habit. This is an especially valuable when you are unsure where the story is leading. In the heat of the moment, while you are trying to scribble down buzzwords, you may be fooled by your assumptions. Which, by the way, may be happening even now.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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