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Why Am I So Bad With Names


Have you ever met someone and five seconds later you’ve already forgotten her name? It can be an embarrassing feeling and most people go through this dilemma their entire lives. The most common reasons given for this problem are:

  • They are bad with names
  • They have a bad memory
  • And so on

The fact is these are excuses. The main reason we forget names so quickly is because we weren’t listening in the first place. Often, we were already thinking about something else and never really heard them say their name.

As soon as you’re introduced to a person say, “Nice to meet you.” Then, say their name. Do this even when you meet a group of people. This technique forces you to take a second and really hear the person’s name. Yet, your work has only started. There are plenty of techniques out there to help you remember names. I’ll share two of the most effective techniques that I use.

  1. Name Association

When someone tells me their name I associate it with someone I know or someone famous. For example, if I meet a Bob I say to myself Bob, Bob, Bob the Builder (from the children’s television show). I once met a guy named Marlin, which isn’t a common name where I’m from. I called him Florida Marlin to myself and he was actually impressed I remembered his name the following week.

  1. Repetition

This is repeating a name over and over again in your head, then using their name in as many sentences as you can. For example, instead of saying, “So, how are you connected to the party?” Say, “Bob, how are you connected to the party?” and look to use his name as much as possible without being annoying about it.

For more business communication tips check out the book First Impressions for the Business Professional – Why Some of Us Excel and Most of Us Fail

Key Lesson: Remembering names start with great listening skills.

Checkout this free online book Build Rapport in Business – The Definitive Guide

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