[Image by Public Domain of Pixabay]

If you’re reading this post, how often have you said or thought “My memory isn’t good for people’s names.”  If that describes you or perhaps someone you know, you’re like most individuals.  That means that you find it challenging to remember a person’s name and because it happens frequently you make the assumption that your memory isn’t good. Here are seven tips to help you improve that skill.

  1. Stop saying to yourself (or to others) that you’re not good at remembering the names of people.  Not only is that not true but the more you tell yourself something the more you believe it to be accurate.
  2. Work on your ability to listen.  Yes, it takes work but it’s well worth doing.  When we meet people, we tend to not stay focused or present, and therefore we don’t really listen to their name.
  3. State a person’s name aloud when you first meet and then use it in your conversation approximately three times.  On occasion, a person will not speak loudly when stating their name and we may not hear it.  So, it helps to restate the name and be sure you heard it correctly.
  4. A person you meet may use adequate volume, but the name is unfamiliar to you.  In those instances, it helps to repeat or restate the name.   You may also want to look at the person’s business card (or nametag) or ask for it, so your brain also sees the name in addition to hearing it.
  5. Another technique found helpful by some of my clients is to form an association with the person’s name.  For example, let’s say the person said his name was Bill and you have an Uncle Bill, you can use that association to help you remember.
  6. Speaking of association, a strategy that some clients find helpful is to use a mnemonic device.  For example, let’s say you met “Jeff” who describes himself as very physically active. You could visualize Jeff jumping rope and then when you see him, you could think “That’s Jumpin’ Jeff.”  That’s one example of a mnemonic device however there are many others such as acronyms, music, and chunking that all assist with memory.
  7. When an event has concluded, review the business cards you received.  As you do so, say the person’s name aloud and make any pertinent notes.  This is an active way of remembering a person’s name vs. filing away business cards and not looking at them.

Remembering people’s names is always important, but particularly in business communication.  It’s a form of respect and will be of assistance to you as you network.

If you’d like to discuss this topic further, please either call or email me (518) 664-6004 or [email protected]