A reader sent an email in anticipation of all of the upcoming Christmas and Holiday parties…
“I’m dreading the upcoming holiday parties, because it is difficult for me to remember people’s names. What should I do if I forget the name of someone I’ve already met, like the guy who works down in accounting? And how can I remember the name of someone new who I just met?” – Beth
Remembering names is tough. There are a few lucky folks who have a knack for it, but for most of us… we’re left scrambling, trying to remember just before we end up stammering ‘hey you’. If I haven’t seen someone in awhile, I always like approach the introduction and ‘self-introduce’ myself. As I approach the person, I stick out my hand to initiate a handshake and say, “Hi, I’m Carey Sue, it’s great to see you again.” That action is usually met with them doing the same in return. If they don’t immediately offer up their name and you’re still drawing a blank. Step up to the plate, and ‘admit it’. Say something along the lines of ‘I am completely drawing a blank, please remind me of your name.’ If you try to beat around the bush, it’s going to be obvious and you’ll look like a goof.
Some people recommend repeating the persons name three times during the conversation, but I tend to find that a little creepy. To hear my name repeated over and over seems a bit awkward in the natural flow of a conversation. Others recommend name association tricks, which tends to work better for me.
Bottom line; don’t let the fear of forgetting someone’s name, keep you from having a good time at the company party. Forgetting names happens to each and every one of us; just don’t let it happen on a regular basis to the same person!