Career Coach: How to Remember Names -- Don't I Know You?
Use mnemonic devices or alliteration to help you remember names: Hugo from Hollywood, Kyle who goes the extra mile. Remembering names can be as simple as ABC. When my father-in-law Rex Thompson tried to recall someone's name, he would travel through the alphabet until he remembered the letter the name started with. You could often hear him quietly saying, "A...B... C..."
Create a mind picture that will help the name stick in your mind.
Imagine Graham eating graham crackers.
Picture Jack's smiling face springing out of a Jack-in the box toy.
See Bill paying his bills.
Associating the person's name with an exaggerated, personal or funny image will make it easier to remember.
Try to make an association between the person's face and an image the name suggests. Can you picture a giant peach on the top of Ben Peachey's head?
Today I met a woman named Carol who was wearing a Christmas sweater. I remembered her name by associating her holiday sweater with singing Christmas carols.
Associate the name with a color. I met a girl at a cookie exchange party who had blonde hair. Her name was Amber. I could associate her amber colored hair with her name.
If Robin is wearing a red shirt you can remember his name by associating the color and a phrase -- Robin red breast.
If you are more attuned to sounds, find a quick rhyme for someone's name.
Scuba instructor Dave Brown won't let anyone drown.
Claire has pretty hair.
Drew is his nephew.
Gary is married to Mary.
Randy is handy.
Or link the name to a song lyric--Hey Jude (Beatle's tune).
Or link the name to a well known phrase.
Dawn of a new day.
No ordinary Joe.
Mark my words.
Find out something about the person that can help you remember his name. Perhaps you can associate the name with a profession or hobby.
Lance is a freelance writer.
Gregg Greene plays golf and likes to be on the green.
If you are more responsive to sensory feelings, try linking the name to the impression the person makes or to a reaction you have to the person.
Fred looks like he just got out of bed.
Lou might have had a few.
Bruce Eisenberg leaves me cold.
Duane is a pain.
Diedre dominates the dialog.
Fran Frendt is friendly.
It's tough to build a relationship with someone if you don't know his name. You can't refer him to a job or recommend him to someone. So learn the names of the people you meet.
Everyone wants to feel special. One of the best ways to make people feel important is to remember their name. When you refer to someone by his name you are honoring him with respect. Remembering peoples' names is more than just good manners; it's good business.
Now you have a clue about how to remember names– commit, listen, use it and embed a link. When you make the effort and make an association with the name, you'll be able to remember it.
Pamela Kleibrink Thompson admits she often has trouble remembering names so never hesitate to reintroduce yourself. She'll be presenting her Career Strategies Workshop on Feb.11 and 12 at Savannah College of Art and Design. You can reach her for recruiting, speaking engagements, or career coaching at PamRecruit@q.com.