Umm...What's Your Name, Again?

New customer? Sign up today!

Umm...What's Your Name, Again?

4 Steps to Remembering Any Name

two Models

“Hey there….buddy!” We’re all guilty of this dreaded scenario—forgetting someone’s name. You meet someone and minutes, days, or weeks later, you can’t, for the life of you, remember what his or her name is. Then, the more time passes and the more you see this person, the worse you feel when you can’t remember their name. Then it gets to a point when you’re afraid to ask them and, incredulously, they might respond, “You’ve been working with me for two years and you don’t know my name?”


Dale Carnegie once said, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” One of the best ways to show an associate or acquaintance you respect them is to refer to them by name whenever you see or talk to them. So, in an effort to learn how to improve relationships with co-workers or anyone we come in contact with, let’s take a look at some things we can do to remember names better. Chris Witt, an author, coach, and speaker, offers the following tips:


Commit: This is the first and most important step. We all know that to do anything well, you have to have the desire first. Ahead of time, commit to remembering the names of everyone you meet at a party or a company meeting. DON’T let yourself off easy and figure that if you do happen to forget a name, it’s due to bad memory. According to Witt, “Forgetting names is due less to bad memory than to a lack of application.”


Concentrate: If you are distracted and not giving a person your full attention, it’s likely you won’t remember their name. Focus on what they are saying and, if you do happen to forget their name, say, “I’m sorry, can you tell me your name again?” Don’t feel bad asking them to repeat their name. It’s better to ask after you first meet them than a year later!


Repeat: Repetition is great for memory—after all, that’s how we all learned our ABC’s, right? If you’re meeting Bob for the first time, repeat his name right after you hear it: “It’s great to meet you, Bob.” If you really have a hard time remembering names, it might not hurt to even ask Bob a question, like, “What do you do for the company, Bob?” Witt suggests repeating it silently to yourself as well. If you are introduced to multiple people at a time, mentally quiz yourself shortly thereafter to make sure you remember every name.


Associate: If Bob happens to be the name of your best friend or brother, think of your friend or sibling when you meet Bob for the first time, and try to do so every time you see him until his name sticks. You can also try another mnemonic device, like rhyming. Try something like, “Great job Bob” or “Cute shoes Sue.”