Got a mail from a friend last week that said:
“I’m currently rubbish at remembering names and faces, this needs to change. I’m very good and remembering places so my mind obviously works to some degree, it just needs some tuning. Do you know of any great strategies or courses that might help me?”
It is a problem I used to have myself. Social events were a world of blank looks and pathetic conversational fishing as people slowly sank into disappointment at not being remembered that only partially matched my embarrassment for not remembering. I was in awe of those that had, what appeared to be, the “gift of total recall” of names and faces.
Recognising the power and value of the ability I set on a path to discover the best way to achieve Total Recall of names and faces myself. Here’s the best of what I found on the journey:
Make the person important enough to you and you will remember their name!
Often the reason we forget is that we simply don’t care, value or believe the person can help us (the “selfish gene” is a powerful beast). Not saying your “selfish” only human. Make them important and suddenly you will store them differently in your mind.
In group situations like training there are lots of tactics I learned to use such as:
1. Repeat the name 3-times when you first engage the client- Repetition is the mother of memory
2. Association with what they are wearing or a characteristic ;big Ben, Tom the hat, Jenny the smile. (Funny, never had any problem remembering beautiful ladies)- We always remember images
3. Get below the first layer of conversation (Bill works at Honda, Hazel loves Paris etc.)- Create a story and you will remember the person in it
4. Create movies associated with the person you are remembering; being handed a Bill at a Honda garage, eating a Topic with (Hazel nut bar) in Paris- The wilder more outrageous it is the more you will remember
Nothing worse than not knowing the name of someone you meet. Here’s the advice I received:
1. Don’t bluff… go early with lines such as; “charming to meet you again though you have me at a disadvantage..”
2. Plan… ask others in the company who the person you know the face but can’t place the name before you meet them. They will be impressed.
3. Best advice.., Read their name badge, they never know (try this in ASDA)
Remembering names is a great ability to a have and some of the most successful people I have met seem to be amazing at it, people like… um… uh.. you now.. the football guy… his wife’s name is Nicole, beautiful eyes and that dress. Now… what’s his name?