As humans, we name everything. Its how we relate to things. We get a new pet – we name it. We create or invent something – we name it. We give names to the things that we care about, innately we know how important that names are.
So why is it that many of us can’t remember another person’s name after we meet them?
I have struggled with this problem.
Its an awful feeling to see someone and know that you should know their name, and yet, you don’t. You’re embarrassed to ask them again, so you go on avoiding anything that would cause you to have to say it. Hoping that someone else will come up and say it – so you don’t have to look like the selfish dope.
Dale Carnegie states in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People that if we don’t remember names, we are headed for trouble; so I have decided to work diligently at remembering names.
Some tips I have found useful from Dale Carnegie and Frank Bettger (How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling) are:
- Listen, Pay attention
Most times when we are being introduced to someone – the names get lost somewhere in the beginning of the conversation. I am learning to pay better attention when someone says their name, say it back to them and then repeat it over and over in my mind. I also try to repeat it out loud as many times as I can appropriately do so.
- Associate it with something.
This one has been a little tricky for me. I have caught myself asking the story behind someone’s name, I got so lost in the story that I forgot what the name was! (I am still a work in progress!)
- Write it down.
This has been one of the biggest helps to me. After I am introduced to someone, as soon as I get a chance – I write the name down and something that I learned about them. This way I receive a visual picture of the name too.
Names are very important to their beholders. When you remember someone’s name and call them by it – watch their face light up. Its magic in dealing with people!
Never stop improving,