Pay Attention

Most of us have been in social situations where we recognize someone but can’t remember their name. Rotary International solved this problem years ago by instituting a badge system for all members. The badges are big, round, and the Rotarian’s first name is in large type. Even the newest member never fears forgetting a name since it is so prominently displayed. In most business settings, however, it’s not so easy, so it helps to develop some basic skills when meeting new people. Fully engage, don’t divide your attention, and be mindful of the fact that you’re trying to get to know this person. Repeat their name. Experts advise saying the name aloud twice, first to confirm that you’re saying it correctly, and second as a conversation starter. Make an association. Associations are tools of the memory building trade and involve connecting the name with a familiar object or theme. Conclude with their name. Close the conversation by saying their name. It’ll be validating for them, “Ah, he remembered,” and it’ll give you another chance to convince your neurons to fire that way again. It’s great to recognize someone, and even better to remember their name when you do.