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The Power of Remembering Names

Stashed in: Networking, Practice

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Here are some tips for remembering people’s names:

Make it a commitment. Suppose you start a new job with a number of new faces. What can you do to learn and remember them all? Set goals for how many people you will meet each day to learn their names. When someone tells you their name, listen and repeat it back to them.

Practice. It is okay to say, “Your name is Chuck, right?” They will correct you if you are wrong, and will be flattered if you are right. Colleagues often ask me how I learn names so quickly. I work at it and I practice. I ask them to say their names the way they want them pronounced, and then I try to use their names every time I see them.

Learn and use first names. Use their names every time you see them. Repeating their name in every situation helps you to remember it. Greet them by their name. You can also go up to them and reintroduce yourself since they will generally repeat their name once you have said yours.

Ignore the name tag. For some folks, name tags help. For me, I find they are a crutch. If they exist, they I will keep looking at the name tag and never learn the person’s name. You have to figure out if name tags help or hurt you in learning or using their names.

On the phone, ask for the name early. Write it down, and then continue to use it during the conversation. It is especially important to use their name at the beginning and at the end of a conversation with them.

Use names when e-mailing. It shows that you have taken the time to make a personal connection to them.

Using it right away, is the key for me, the longer I put off using it, the more unsure I become of having the name right; which leads me to not using it, because of the risk being wrong.

Great article! Thanks for sharing Adam! I would love to get better at remembering people's names. I was recently inspired to improve my memory after reading MOONWALKING WITH EINSTEIN. It is an extremely well-written and compelling book on memory.

Remembering names is so important to making connections with people:

It is the one way we can easily get someone’s attention. It is a sign of courtesy and a way of recognizing them. When someone remembers our name after meeting us, we feel respected and more important. It makes a positive and lasting impression on us. To not remember a name, especially when someone has had to repeat it several times, is to make that person feel slighted.

Someone can instantly be better connector if they were to put more energy into this small but significant activity.

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