Tips To Remember Names And Faces
We"ve all been in that situation, and probably more than once. You're at a party and are introduced to someone. After chatting a bit you separate. Later, you see them again and want to introduce them to a friend, but can't remember their name. Or maybe you'se started a new job and are introduced to a number of people in a relatively short period of time. Later in the day someone comes up to check in with you and you can't remember who they are. It's a common occurrence. Often, when we are introduced to people, we speak to them for less than ten seconds and are still expected to remember their name. Think of occasions where you are introduced to people: either you're at a social function where you are talking with a number of people, some of whom you may never see again. Or maybe you start a new job and have to learn many people's names very quickly. Whatever the occasion, it's important to develop strategies to help you remember names as gracefully as possible, without asking the same person to identify themselves repeatedly.
What's In A Name?
If you find yourself at an event where you feel overwhelmed by the amount of people you are meeting, take a step back from the situation. Consider who you're meeting and why you may need to know their name. Without disregarding anyone, consider that you may need to focus on only a few key people, and not on some others. For example, if you are networking at a work function, consider focusing on the people you are most interested in meeting. Perhaps there is the head of another division of the company you are looking to make an acquaintance with. Focus on that person, or on someone who can introduce you to them; that way you can reference the person who introduced you. Be selective. Know that other people are probably in the same situation as you are, and if you do forget a name, graciously admit it by re-introducing yourself. They'll follow suit and give you their name. Calling a person by their name is important, and usually makes a lasting impression on the other person.
Tips To Remember Names
- Make an effort - Make a conscious decision to remember names. By dedicating yourself to the task, you'll be more focused on it.
- Repetition - At the risk of sounding foolish, repeat the name as much as you can while you talk with the person. "Nice to meet you, Al. How are you Al? So Al, what do you do for a living?
- Picture Them - Take a mental photograph as you're introduced. Are there any defining features to remember?
- Ask them to spell their name - Or spell it to yourself. This creates another memory along with the introduction.
- Note the environment - Where did you meet the person? Sometimes remembering the location helps remember the name.
- Ask for a card - A business card gives you more information to identify the person and help trigger the memory.
When all else fails, remember you can always apologize for having forgotten, and ask their name again. Chances are they'll need a refresher on your name as well.
Photo Credit: Pink Poppy Photography