Do you remember people’s names?
To use the excuse, “I’m just no good with names” is just not acceptable if you want to make the best impression you can on the people you do business with. So how do you remember names?
Probably rule number one should be that you want to remember names. Think of it as a skill you are developing through practice. Dale Carnegie said that a person’s name is, to him, the most important word in the English language. If you can remember someone’s name, they have a more positive view of you, feel more important and are often prepared to overlook other perceived shortcomings. Here are some tips to help you memorize names:
In business, remembering your customers’ names is really important and provides you with a simple way to make the customer feels important and more prepared to listen to what you have to say…
- Repetition is the key to memorization. When you meet someone new, on learning their name, repeat it silently to yourself 3 times. Immediately thereafter, relate their name to a person that you know, a celebrity or a funny story – this is called association and can be very helpful e.g. Marlyn (think Munroe) or Janet (as in Jackson)
- Again, but this time aloud, use their name 3 times within the first conversation. i.e. “Michelle” is introduced to you and you would say, “Nice to meet you Michelle.” You could then introduce “Michelle” to another of your colleagues and finally when you part company say, “It was nice to talk to you Michelle”.
- While the name is still fresh in your memory, write it down in your diary/notebook along with a brief explanation of who the person is. This may seem like a lot of work but with practice you will learn to apply it almost instinctively. When you meet or speak to them again, they will be so impressed that you remembered their name.
Note: Remembering someone’s name requires a conscious effort to remember. Most of us have scores of thoughts, plans and assumptions on our minds all the time so someone’s name only gets a brief look in before it disappears off the radar…Tune in, in a very deliberate way, to the person’s name and consciously follow the steps above….
If we have forgotten someone’s name, we can ask them to repeat it without losing goodwill. Better to ask again than omit to use it at all or get it wrong!
The more we consciously practice remembering names the easier and more natural it becomes… Have a good week Eleanor
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