Have you ever run into someone you just met a week ago and can’t remember her name?
Have you ever met someone at a party and forgotten her name as soon as the conversation ended?
Do you ever find yourself apologizing to people over and over with this refrain, “I’m sorry, but I’m horrible with names”?
Why can’t I remember anyone’s name after I meet them?
It’s not that you can’t remember.
Let’s be honest. If you can’t remember someone’s name after they’re out of sight, it’s because you don’t have a system to cement their name into your memory.
If you’ll use a simple technique every time you meet someone, you’ll never have to run and hide when you meet that person a week, a month, or even a year later. You’ll never have to apologize that you have Alzheimer’s for names and faces when you really don’t. You will be seen as more friendly, more caring, and more intelligent.
This idea is so powerful that Dale Carnegie included it in his six ways to make people like you. Here it is:
There’s a simple way to do it.
The next time you meet someone do three things.
1. Repeat her name.
Doing this creates another impression in your brain. You’ll hear it twice in the first minute – once from your lips and once from yours.
Use her name several times in your conversation. Don’t be annoying about it. Just add it onto a sentence here and there.
“Where do you work, Mary?”
“Sheila, how long have you lived in Atlanta?”
“You know, Christy, I’ve felt the same way myself!”
2. Anchor her name to something about her.
There are several things that make every person unique. Here are a few sample questions:
• What do you do for a living?
• Where do you live?
• Where did you grow up?
• What do you like to do in your spare time?
• What’s your favorite vacation spot?
• What is your favorite movie?
Now you have some information to use in the next step ….
3. Create a mental picture of that person with the information you’ve learned.
This part is the most fun.
When I was in the Dale Carnegie course back in the 80s, I suggested people could remember my name by picturing my face on Frankenstien’s monster. To further enhance the picture by adding some live action, I told them to imagine that monster climbing America’s highest mountain, Mt. McKinley.
Sounds silly, doesn’t it?
But trust me, it works.
You can apply the same technique to anyone you meet by using their information to create a unique picture of him or her. Make a movie of it by adding some movement. Make sure it’s exaggerated because the more outrageous it is, the easier it is to remember.
Just don’t share your picture with them.
Isn’t it hard?
It’s the hardest the first time you try it. So instead of feeling awkward in public, practice with a group of really good friends.
Do this every time you meet someone and you’ll never forget another name again!