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How to Remember a Person’s Name

by nick

Why it’s important to use another person’s name
Remembering another person’s name creates a connection and makes others feel important. It tells them that they were special enough to have made a good impression on you – and everyone likes to feel special. William Shakespeare once said this;

There is no sound so sweet as the sound of one’s own name

And he couldn’t be more right – it makes the meeting more meaningful to the other person (and for you too) and it makes them feel good that you’ve acknowledged them. Think about how you feel when someone forgets your name – nobody likes to be forgotten.

But if you’re like many of us, remembering people’s names won’t be your strong point. Forgetting someone’s name happens to everyone once in a while, but if you’re regularly forgetting people names, it’s time to do something about it.

Remembering people’s names is a great way to build rapport, that’ll open doors for you. Whether it’s at work, or at social gatherings, remembering people’s names is one of the best ways to create a good first impression.

Today we’ll discuss some tried and tested tips and tricks for remembering people’s names, and how to deal with a situation when someone’s name slips your mind.

Tips for Remembering a Person’s Name
Actually listen – Most of us are lazy and never listen. We tend to think more about what we’re actually going to say when someone introduces themselves, and by doing this the person’s name goes in one ear and out the other. The first few seconds of an introduction are the most important for learning someone’s name so it’s important that you’re actually listening.

If you know that you’re going to be meeting new people, then prepare to focus during introductions. That little bit of extra concentration will go a long way in helping you remembering names.

Ask for the name again if you don’t hear it properly the first time – If you didn’t actually hear the first time, don’t be afraid of asking for the person’s name again. Be sure to do this straight away. Say something like, “ sorry, I didn’t catch that?” This confirms that the name needs to be said again, perhaps more slowly or clearly. Listen more carefully the second time!

Ask them to spell it – Asking a person how they spell their name can help you remember it, especially if it’s unusual. If it’s a common name, but has different spelling variations, ask which variation they use – Steven or Stephen.

Use repetition, early on – When you’re first introduced, repeat the person’s name straight away, such as, “pleased to meet you (insert name here).”

After the first repeat, use the person’s name as much as you can during conversation, such as at the end of statements or questions. “Where are you from, Steven?” “How long have you been working for (insert company name here), Steven?” Repeating the person’s name will help you remember, as it’ll start to make its way into your memory. However, be sure that you don’t overdo it – be natural.

Make associations – After hearing a person’s name, try to associate their name with a picture or person. There’s no wrong or right way to do this. Just make the association meaningful to you. For example, create a mental picture of somebody you already know with the same or similar name standing beside the person you’ve just met.

Study the persons face or other distinctive features – Be discreet and natural when doing this. Look at their face, hair or other distinctive features when you’re talking together. Try to find something that’s easy to remember about them, such as crooked teeth, scars, frizzy hair, or anything else that’s distinguishing. Try to link the name with this feature, for example, “ Ben with the bald patch.”

Write it down – If you’re in a profession that involves making new contacts, be sure to carry a little notebook and pen with you. When, you meet someone new, write down their name in your notebook, along with some notes about who they are and what they do. This way, you can revisit your notes before a meeting where you may see them again.

Practice – Remembering names is a skill that requires a lot of practice. To develop this skill, put yourself in situations where you’ll be meeting new people and having to learn new names. Use the above techniques as much as you can.

What to do when you forget a person’s name
There will be occasions when you forget a person’s name. If you do, ask them for it again as politely as you can. Say something like, “I’m really sorry, but I’ve forgotten your name, would you mind telling me what it is again?” Don’t apologize too much – treat it lightly and move on. Remember to ask for a person’s name again as soon as you realize that you’ve forgotten it. The longer you delay this, the more offended they’ll be when they realize you don’t know their name.

However, having to ask for someone’s name again can make you look bad and make the person feel unimportant. Here’s how to deal with it, without having to ask for their name again.

When you part ways – Ask if they’ve got a business card that you can have.

When you see someone that you’ve already met – Don’t guess their name, if you’re not sure – if you get it wrong, the person will be more offended compared to asking for their name again.

Use this simple trick that usually works.

Ask the person, “Sorry, but what was your name again?”

The person will likely respond with their first name.

Respond by saying, “oh no, I meant your last name?”

People are usually more forgiving if you forget their last name – not their first name.

When you’re introducing someone that you’ve met before – If you’re standing with a friend and someone approaches you and then waits for you to introduce them, and you can’t remember their name simply say to that person, “Have you met my friend, John?” The person will hopefully say to John, “ No I haven’t, pleased to meet you, my name’s Matt,”

More Tips on Remembering Peoples Names
Avoid shortening a person’s name. It’s impolite to assume nicknames. Even if you hear someone else use a shortened version during a conversation, be polite enough to ask which name they prefer to be known by.
If you’re pursuing a professional career, forgetting people’s names can cost you a lot more than just your social image. Therefore, practice, practice, practice!

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