[May 31, 2018] I am very bad remembering the names of people I meet for the first time and it’s always been that way. But if there is one piece of sound advice I can give, it’s that of the people you do meet, you should never forget their names.
Why? The reason is simple and it goes back to the idea that everyone likes to be noticed and appreciated. If you cannot remember a person’s name, they may misinterpret your poor memory for disrespect, disregard, or disinterest.
“Forgive you enemies, but never forget their names.” – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
U.S. President Kennedy gives us another reason not to ever forget people’s names. He wanted to remember folks so that he knew they could be or might not be trusted in a future political venture.
The names we have, including nicknames and how we say them, are special to us. We may like or dislike our name but we have embraced it and our personal names have become a part of our psychic; psychologist would say it’s a part of our superego. Thus, good leaders remember names, the proper pronunciation (especially if it deviates from common acceptance), and any verbal variation special to the user.
If you have difficulty remembering names like I do, employ some method to ensure you never forget it. I personally take a moment to write the name down on a piece of paper that I always carry in my pocket. Many trips back to towns where I have friends means that I prepare myself with a list of names that my wife runs through during our travels.
By remembering names we accomplish something important. We show respect and that we appreciate a person but by doing so we are now able to be inspirational to that person, show that we can listen to what they say, show our thanks, be helpful, and most crucially, we build trust and confidence.