What is in a name? Apparently a lot, when it comes to remembering people’s names and the impression it makes. When I (Rachel) was presenting at the International Coach Federation’s NYC chapter meeting there were over 60 people in the room. I did my best to introduce myself to as many people possible. Each time I introduced myself, I made an effort to learn their name. If their name was unusual I asked them to pronounce it again and even spell it. I wasn’t able to meet all 60 people, but whenever we had a question from the audience I would either say the person’s name or if it was someone whom I had not met, I asked them their name, and then used it later on during the question and answer part.
Overall the feedback I got about the presentation was excellent, however the remarks about remembering names were outstanding. I hadn’t even remembered everyone’s name, yet the impression was that I knew everyone.
I like learning people’s names. I think it is important. At our free NLP and Hypnosis previews I have created a goal for myself to learn people’s names. Limiting these group to about 30 people makes the task more achievable. Once our evening begins I introduce myself and then I go around the room and introduce everyone by first name. The participants are very impressed when I have said everyone’s names and I am often asked if this is an NLP trick and will I teach how to remember names in our NLP training.
Steve Andreas, (early NLP developer) had taught me that when it comes to self-concept, people always know their names. Unless you have amnesia you don’t forget your name. Even if you say, “I am not good with names,” you still remember your own name. We have heard our names since birth, and we know if we are called by our names with the middle and last included that we may be headed for trouble. So the power of our names is important for our identity.
Hearing your name said to you begins the experience of being known. This is the first step to building rapport, to creating relationships. If you forget someone’s name it is absolutely okay to ask again and again. Of course remember to say your name repeatedly to someone because they will need to be reminded too.
Here is my name remembering technique. If it works for you let me know. If you have your own technique please share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel’s Remember Name Technique;
1. Make an internal intention statement; “I want to learn this person’s name.” (This works for one person or meeting a group of people).
2. When saying hello, introduce your self, and then ask for their name.
3. Listen and repeat the name looking directly at them, make eye contact. At that moment create any association that fits. Take on the belief that you already know this person and of course you would know their name because you already met them.
4. If you am not familiar with their name ask them to say it again, and spell it out.Then say it out- loud at least three times to verify that you have gotten it correctly.
5. When you are meeting people in a group, review by scanning the group and saying the names internally. If you don’t know someone’s name that you have already met go back and ask them again. Tell them that you are in the process of learning their name.
6. Some people find it useful to visualize the spelling of the name either on person’s forehead, floating above their head or on a name tag attached to their body.
7. Test your knowledge by saying hello to the group and introduce everyone.
8. A more challenging test is to ask everyone to move to another part of the room to force your self to learn their names without being dependent upon their location.