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Tricks for remembering names

Following up on the earlier post about becoming a better listener, I get the feeling I'm not the only one with problems remembering peoples' names. So how about a few quick tips via Google for remembering names:

From How to Remember Names (wittcom.com). Boy, do I ever need this one:

Begin by making a commitment -- a conscious decision -- to remember people's names.

Don't let yourself off easy, blaming a "bad memory." Forgetting names is due less to a bad memory than to a lack of application. Tell yourself -- because it's true -- that you can remember names if you want to and if you work at it.

From How to Remember Names when You Meet People (learnthat.com):

Repeat after me: repetition, repetition, repetition. When you are first introduced to someone, use their names several times when you talk to them. "Hi, Jim, nice to meet you. So, what do you do for a living Jim? Do you have any kids, Jim? Jim, it was great to meet you!" If you don't catch their name when it was originally told to you, ask for it again. Saying it immediately will help you remember it when they walk away.

From: How to Remember Names - Free Name Remembering Tips (leadersinstitute.com):

Mind Picture -- Associate the person's name with a picture that is easy to recall. The full name should create ONE picture. The person whose name you have made a picture of should be in the picture. Difficult names may need to be broken down into syllables to create memorable pictures. Example: Staneart (Stan-irt)-Picture me STANding up to my waist in dIRT.

From How to Remember Names by Tom Weber: The Sideroad (sideroad.com):

Turn Names into Pictures This converts the name into an image, which is the language of your memory. For instance when you meet Barbara think of a barbed wire fence. Attaching a picture to a name is simple and because you will run into so many people with the same names, you will need fewer images than you think.

The tips from Real Simple -- ostensibly to help you remember names -- are mostly cool sneaks for weaseling out of having forgotten. Tacky, but clever, if you're a big chicken:

If a third party whose name you can’t recall enters a conversation, says Martin, “confidently introduce the person whose name you do know: ‘This is Heather Davis.’ Then just let the mystery woman complete the introduction.”

Got more good tips or links on remembering names?

About Merlin

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Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




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