Think you’re terrible at remembering names? You’re not alone. Studies have shown that people have an easier time remembering almost any other detail about people, including what they do and where they’re from. Scientists think this might be because names, in themselves, aren’t particularly meaningful, but as anyone who’s ever forgotten the name of an important business contact will tell you, they are important. Remembering people’s names is a simple but powerful indicator to others of how important they are to you. Here are some easy tricks you can use to outsmart mother nature and make yourself seem like a memory whiz.Remembering people’s names is a simple but powerful indicator to others of how important they are to you. Click To Tweet
Here are 6 simple tips to help you remember people’s names you can start using right away:
- Raise the Stakes: One reason we often don’t remember names is that we don’t tend to think names are very important until it’s too late. Decide that from now on you are going to remember names of everyone you meet because your fortune depends on it. You’ll be surprised how well you’ll do.
- Listen Up: Too often, people don’t remember names because they simply weren’t listening. Work on forming a habit of always listening during introductions. Tell yourself that learning to really listen to people’s names is going to be your secret to success.
- Repeat After Me: Every time you meet someone new, repeat their name back to them. Repeating a name forces you to pay attention to it, and saying a person’s name back to them can become your mental que to remember the information.
- Get it Right: Asking someone to confirm the spelling of their name can be a great conversation starter as well as a mental reminder to take note of their name. Find out whether there are a Casey or a K.C., and a Geoff or a Jeff to give your brain an extra visual cue to remember them by.
- Make a Connection: The next time you meet someone new, make a mental connection between their name and something else. What you choose doesn’t really matter as long as it has meaning to you: someone they remind you of, where they are from, an actor they look like, or a distinguishing facial feature. If your new colleague Sabrina reminds you of tennis champion Serena Williams, you might rename her Sabrina Williams in your head. Or you might remember Brian, the very smart new IT guy, as Brian “the brain”. The very process of making those connections helps send your brain a message to remember the information.
- Picture: Draw a mental image of the name based on what it sounds like, it’s spelling, or your things you know about the person. See a picture of the name in your head that stands for that person. For example, if you meet a history teacher named Douglass, you might picture an archaeologist who has dug up glass fragments from some ancient civilization.
Learning to remember names isn’t not as difficult as it seems. With a little mental coaching, and by using some very simple memory tricks, you’ll discover that your capacity to remember names is a lot stronger than you first thought.
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