How Embarrassing, Mr. Neighbor
Remembering names can be a pain!
You get introduced to a new neighbor and you really hit it off. You talk about sports, the mailman, the weather and even your shared dislike for Enrique Iglesias and Justin Timberlake.
Heck, he even has a barbeque grill and invites you over to his house on the weekend. However, at the end of it all there’s only one problem. You’ve forgotten his name! Uh-oh, you can’t ask for it again for fear of being thought as an idiotic snob. And to top it all off, he remembers your name.
Let’s face it, this is pretty embarrassing.
All of us want to avoid situations where we blank out on names of people we’ve just met or even those we’ve met before. Especially when it is the first day in your new job and you meet a lot of new people.
Fret not; you’re one of the thousands facing this problem daily! With the help of this article, we’ll try to make remembering names as easy as possible (read: save you from future awkwardness).
The following are techniques that have worked for me. Try them and be sure to comment on what works for you:
Put Mind To It
The first and most important tip is to make a priority to remember a person’s name.
Believe it or not, this actually works!
There’s a lot going on when we meet a new person which is distracting our attention. A simple change in your own mindset can go a long way in helping you remember Timothy’s name, who is a second cousin from your mother’s side.
However, this is easier said than done. One way to practically implement this is by repeating the person’s name over and over in your head the first time he/she says it.
A second important tip is to associate. In this case, you associate a person to an image or activity which helps you form a picture of them in your head.
Say for example, Brian has a heavy build an easy way to remember him could be, Brian the boxer. Experts suggest that using catchy phrases not only help us in remembering names but they also help us in retaining information for a longer time!
Practice Makes Perfect
This third tip is often taken for granted. According to a study, hearing our name activates our brain.
The simple fact is that, people feel good when you refer to them with their name.
Implementing this tip is easy! The next time you meet a new person, use their name to refer to them (don’t overdo it!).
If it’s peculiar in terms of pronouncing, make sure you ask for the proper pronunciation before using it. You could also ask them where they are from if the name sounds exotic. Or you could also even ask them to spell it out for you.
Have A Backup
The final tip is one most commonly used by professionals!
You see, clients tend to not like their names being misspelled or worse, be called by the wrong name!
This is why a lot people use an additional memory aid i.e. writing the names down. Let’s face it; if you meet tons of clients every day, remembering all their names is nearly impossible unless of course you’re blessed with an eidetic memory!
The next time you “meet” people over the phone, write down their names.
The written word is a superb technique of aiding memory, especially if you glance at it just before a meeting. This method, although not used by lots of individuals, is extremely effective and also very straightforward to apply.