“I’m not a names person.”

“For the life of me, I can’t remember people’s names.”

I’ve heard that there’s a neurological reason we find it difficult to remember names.

But my hunch is that the biggest difference between folks who remember names and those who don’t is primarily that the so-called “names people” are working at it harder than the rest of us. They are leaders.

Over time, they’ve formed certain habits:

  1. Listen for the other person’s name during the introduction. (I’m afraid our default is to focus more on telling the person our name than listening for theirs.)
  2. Associate the name to something you can remember. “Tall Paul.” Or “My college roommate’s name was Brett.”
  3. Repeat the person’s name a couple of times during the exchange. Sound awkward? It’s not as awkward as it sounds (or feels the first few times you try it). Usually the other person will know exactly what you are doing and actually appreciate the obvious care you’re taking to remember their name.
  4. Review the name to yourself a few times during the rest of the day.

In an increasingly disregarding world–let’s push back with honor.