What’s Your Name Again?

11 Nov

It might not happen often, but as we constantly meet new people we all eventually forget some peoples’ names. It’s not always a big deal, but in a business setting, it might be critical to how someone perceives you or your company. People like to feel like they have left a lasting impression or at the very least that they are important. Forgetting someone’s name, especially that of a loyal customer or an executive at your company, may dissuade a customer or leave a bad impression on upper management.

So here are two simple techniques to use when meeting someone new to ensure your relationship starts off on the right foot:

Repetition. When people tell you their name, repeat it out loud. Then use the name in the conversation when appropriate. The more often you hear or see the name, the more likely it is to sink in.

Triggers. Try to find cues to differentiate this person—maybe an unusual facial feature or pronunciation. This can be particularly helpful in distinguishing between people with common names like John or Sarah. Other tricks of this nature may include associating a name to the conversation or maybe where they live or possibly a hobby. And don’t worry if it seems too quirky or weird; as long as it works, you’ve done your job.

Don’t let yourself fall into the awkward situation in which you’re standing next to someone you’ve met several times and still can’t remember his or her name. Use these simple tricks and maybe, just maybe, that business deal or even romantic rendezvous will not be foiled by your inability to recall someone’s name.



by Michael Flowers


2 Responses to “What’s Your Name Again?”

  1. Elisabeth Green November 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Michael, I thought your blog post was very interesting and relevant for our generation especially. We are accustomed to communicating through emails and social media, so we often times need to remember someone’s name before we even meet face-to-face. These technology advancements have allowed for more communication but also less certainty. When someone signs an email with the name “Leah,” how do you know if it is pronounced: Lay-ah, Lee-ah, or Lee? We do not have the benefit of hearing people introduce themselves when communicating with emails and social media. In order to eliminate this uncertainty, it is important to reintroduce ourselves when we meet people face-to-face and follow the advice you have given above.

  2. Natalia Ortega November 14, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    I definitely agree with Elisabeth. I am the first to admit I have trouble remembering names; the fact that my phone and facebook can remember them for me is no incentive to try and work to get better at it.

    I’ll take your suggestions into consideration and more actively process when introduced to new people.

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