Memory For Mommies

... Cutting through the Fog of Motherhood

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Mommies, How Good are You At Remembering People's Names?

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For most of us, remembering people’s names is our biggest memory challenge. We’ve all been there … walking through the grocery store and we see a familiar face. As they get closer, we begin to determine the strategy we will take. Some of those strategies include:


The Non Name Intro: “Hey! It’s good to see you again!” (With a look of fear on our face)


The Pre-emptive Strike: “Sarah Greystone (with an extended hand). It’s great to see you again?” (Hoping that they return the favor and introduce themselves back)


The Silent Wave: (Wave or salute with a smile on our face)


Total Avoidance: (In our head we’re saying: “I know I know that person. I think I’ll just avoid them today.” Of course, we’ll eventually will run into them somewhere in the store and have to use one of the above methods)


The struggle with people’s names is an interesting struggle. Relationships play such a vital role in most of our lives. Every day we depend on other people to help us accomplish our tasks. It is said that every person that you meet has an impact on your life. The first step to building trust with someone is remembering their name. So, if you really think about it, remembering people’s names should be our bread and butter. But it’s not.


Here are some simple steps that you can take to improve name recall:


Focus on the person. Half the battle to remembering someone’s name is just taking the time to focus on them. Too often we’re still focused on a previous conversation or worried about who else is in the room. Just a few minutes focused on that person can be huge towards remembering their name and building a connection.


Associate the person with someone that you know. When we meet someone for the first time our natural inclination is to determine if they look like someone that we know. In most cases they do. Its just the names don’t match up. If they do have a similar or same name then it creates a powerful memory pod. Use it.


Tie the person’s name to one of their dominant characteristics. We notice many things about people when we initially meet them. If we can tie their name to one of their dominant characteristics it makes them very memorable. For instance if the person’s name is Harry and he is really hairy then it will make it that much easier to remember him the next time you see him. Here’s a hint: the more you can exaggerate that dominant characteristic the more memorable the person will become.


Say the person’s name three times. Saying a person’s name three times is a basic building block technique to remembering their name. Most of us know that we have to do it, yet most of us struggle to do it in a subtle way. Saying their name too often in a short period of time becomes patronizing and irritating. Not saying it at all becomes insulting. Here is a simple introductory conversation that will help you say the person’s first name three times.


“Hi, my name is Sarah, what is your name?” Jennifer


“Do you go by Jen or Jennifer?” (or if you could ask: “How do you spell that?”)


“Nice to meet you Jennifer”


In our Memory for Mommies program we spend a significant amount of time on, remembering people’s names. Students learn multiple techniques and get lots of practice. It has been proven that if you practice and use these above tips on a regular basis, you will definitely see a significant improvement in name recall.

What do you do to remember people's names?


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