Why Remember All Those Names
Few skills are as important for social relationships as remembering names. Dale Carnegie hit gold when he said “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” It’s really no less than that.
People often, because of one reason or the other, don’t commit as much as they should on this. Better for us: it’s a big handicap. You can make a great impression on people if you remember their names, even after just a one minute chit-chat. You’ll immediately stand out: they will start looking at you with different eyes.
And it’s easy. We are not talking about remembering complex topics, structures, words, etc… Just a name. It’s truly worth all the effort. Whoever wants to be a successful networker has to remember names.
Here are a few quick tips that will help you out:
1- Make it a habit.
Only a loser will say he’s bad with names or faces. Perhaps you are not naturally good with it, but then it’s when you got to work hard and strive to get better at it. All it takes it commitment to work and not to give excuses.
If you want to remember the names of everyone you meet, make a clear decision of doing so. Every day you go out to work, to a party or to a meeting remind yourself of making your best effort to remember everyone’s name.
Don’t focus only on the big guys. Instead, try to remember everyone’s name. For example, if you take the same bus every morning, or eat somewhere too often, ask the guy’s names. Next time, a “Hello, XXX” will make the service even much better. It’s that simple.
Be concentrated when you ask someone’s name. For those few seconds don’t get distracted and be completely focused on that person. He or she has to have all your attention so you make sure you’ll remember the name.
It could happen that you are introduced hastily and you don’t have time to clearly hear the name nor to concentrate enough. Then just politely ask for the name again. Same if you don’t understand: excuse yourself and tell them you are having trouble understanding. You’ll have to make sure you get the name right.
Then, if the situation is good for it, shake hands or kiss saying loud “Nice to meet you, NAME” while you have a smile on your face. This way is the best to show warmth from the very beginning
3- Repeat, speak.
Repeat the name often enough so it gets a place in your memory. Do it immediately, then silently to yourself and also keep using it during your conversation. It’s good if you use phrases as “You know, NAME, …” as it serves the double purpose of repeating the name and of making the other person comfortable.
Also, if you have the possibility, introduce this new person to your other friends. Call one and tell him or her, “Hey, this is NAME.” Something so simple will leave a lasting impression on this person. It’s a perfect way of standing out from the mediocre rest.
Finally, once you left the place, write down the names of the people you met. Do it along some small facts about their lives and looks you’ll later use to associate. For example: Bob, brown hair, lawyer, basketball fan. Make it a habit and the pay off will be, in the future, huge.
4- Practice and associate.
If your memory is really bad and you just can’t remember people’s names, sit down and work. Take all those memory games, cards and materials around and practice. Memory is like a muscle: the more you exercise it, the better it will work. And you want it to work as best as possible, right?
To help out, also try associating. Associate the person (and the name) to whatever feels the most comfortable to you. Some people associate to their impression of the person, others to joke, others to words, etc. To what you associate it’s depends just on you. Find what kinds of associations make it the easiest for you to remember.
5- Social networking.
Social Networks made it really simple to remember people’s names. If it’s possible and won’t look too intrusive, add your new friends to networks as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. You’ll have their names, personal information and photos for you to keep in the loop.
I also like social networks because they are especially great to take care of acquaintances. Perhaps you don’t have anything important to speak about in the short term, but a few tweets, messages and updates can keep you off that person’s metal attic.
Do you have any other tips or techniques to remember people’s names? Let us know!