Remembering someone’s name is one of the kindest and most considerate gestures you can extend towards them, and is guaranteed to make them feel at least a little bit special.
Recently, I’ve taken up desk at a new workspace downtown Vancouver, and as part of this I’ve been meeting lots of new people. Now, I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to stuff like this, but I’ve taken it upon myself to remember everyone’s name.
When I’m teaching dozens (if not hundreds) of students in a week, I do the absolute best job I possibly can to remember everyone’s name. It seriously adds so much to a class when I call students by their name and acknowledge them or give them a personal adjustment.
Remembering people’s names adds a very human element to an ever-digitized world.
Because I’ve gotten really good at this over the years, I often have people ask me how I do it, so I created this little post for you and broke it down into three steps so you can feel that satisfaction when someone looks at you surprised that you actually remembered their name.
- Look at their face, make eye contact if it’s not awkward, and just take them in.
- When they say their name, think of the first name in your memory bank that’s the same or similar. For example, I recently met a Cody, and the first person that I associated with that name was a childhood friend from when I was like 8, Cody Jacques. For most people, this is a famous person’s name. Wherever you pull the name from, make sure it’s the first one that comes to mind. Boom. Cody Jacques.
- Think of the person’s face you’re associating your new pal with (using celebs makes this really easy), and then find some similarity between the two of them. It could be just the color of their hair or they’re wearing a scarf or whatever. Even if you can’t find anything similar, just the process of trying to find something will help to cement their name in your head.
- Say it out loud asap! It might sound kind of awkward, but they’ll appreciate you’re trying. “Nice to meet you Cody” is good enough. No need for intense eye contact or a soul-penetrating gaze. 😉
There are lots of different tactics to remembering people’s names. Forbes is pretty smart, and this is what they have to say about it.
However you do it, commit to it. The act of remembering someone else’s name will help keep you sharp, and will make you stand out in a sea of people who try to get by on “Sorry, I’m just so bad with names.“.
You can do better.