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I can’t remember your name…

Posted on: Thursday, June 1, 2017 Category: Uncategorized (62)

We have all had the specialist coaches give us tips on how to memorise people’s names.  “Remember something distinctive about the person”, “Repeat their name at least three times in your first conversation”, “Make notes in your diary straight after a networking event.”

The truth is that there is no secret to this.

We all forget people’s names and it comes down to one reason.  Names are random pieces of meaningless information – so our brain is not great at processing this information.   And if our brain can’t connect the information to something else, particularly something that it is familiar with (hence the advice to remember people by their distinguishing features), it will discard that information.

What happens is that most of us are actually focusing on introducing ourselves and what we have to say.  Instead of watching and listening, we start to think about what we will say and how we will say it.

If you are not interested in the person you are meeting or know that you are unlikely to meet them again, you also will not remember their name.  It’s not necessarily about your brain’s ability, rather your degree of interest in the person.

Just because you can’t remember someone’s name – does not mean that you have a bad memory.

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