Remember Their Names

By | August 1, 2018

[August 1, 2018]  My recent experience with the Boy Scouts at summer camp (articles here and here) brought a number of comments from readers asking for practical leadership tips.  I’ll soon start a short series on this, but for today I’ll offer one of the most useful of all practical leader tips; remember their names.

Yes, that’s it … just remember the names of people you meet and remember the names of their family, their friends, and acquaintances.  When someone tells you their name and the names of those close to them, it is incumbent upon you to remember them.  This goes to the point that was made back in 1757 by Major Robert Rogers of the famous Rogers Rangers Rules of Discipline.  Among other things, he said, “Don’t forget nothin’.”

Don’t forget their names.  Don’t forget the details about people.  This advice is one of the most common and learning to remember names is a frequent subject among those advising leaders.  They all have similar suggestions.  See some popular articles here, here, and here.  I recommend you scan these.  The main theme is clear; you must be motivated to remember people’s names.

Why do we want to remember names and other details about folks?  The answer is part of learning to be a leader.  Leadership is defined by how we act toward others.  We should show, as a leader, that the people we meet are valued and respected.  If you remember their name, they will reciprocate in several ways; loyal, respectful, and willing to do as you may ask.

Practical leadership means doing those everyday things that make it easier to convince others to do things they would not ordinarily do, because they want to do it.





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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

24 thoughts on “Remember Their Names

  1. Bill Sanders, Jr.

    I cannot emphasize how important this skill is for leaders.

  2. Forrest Gump

    Good stuff to commit to memory. I think it’s mostly for very young leaders but sometimes I forget those basic skills. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Ed Berkmeister

    Thanks for all you do to young and old, leaders and nonl-eaders. But you must recognize that this is the type of info you never found anywhere before. Great job and thanks also to readers and those who make comments.

  4. Greg Heyman

    😉 I agree with Joey. Congrats on such a great website.

    1. Georgie M.

      Hey Joey. Great job staying on this website and making comments.

    2. Joe the Aussie

      I hope you’re reading the posts and taking them to heart. Thanks Joey.

  5. Mike Baker

    Good article. Much appreciated. THank you.

  6. Mr. T.J. Asper

    I’ll be passing along this advice to my High School football team. Frankly, most of them are aware of it just because they are good boys to begin with. The issue is whether they have the “motivation” to continue remembering the names of people that don’t have a relationship with them.

  7. Nick Lighthouse

    Let’s never forget basic leadership lessons. Some of them are from our childhood, others from young adulthood. All those lessons tend to fade with time so let’s remind ourselves that doing the basics got us to where we are now. Good luck to all those who read this blog and to the leaders who are always after the goal of improving on their skills.

  8. Janna Faulkner

    Basic leader advice that is sometimes forgotten. Great job today on this post.

  9. Drew Dill

    I remember this as one of my first real lessons as the Captain of my junior high school basketball team. Learn their names and it shows that you care about them. Caring is crucial for people to accept you as their leader.

  10. Georgie M.

    What I do is write them down so that years later I can still remember them. There are many techniques to remember all sorts of things but remembering someone’s name is at the top.

  11. Nancy J

    We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s nothing personal”. Well, in this case, it is!

    1. Dennis Mathes

      Thanks for your service Army Captain. I always wanted to say that.

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