Memory Enhancement Remembering Names Better

Memory Enhancement: Remembering Names Better



According to "How to Win Friends And Influence People" author Dale Carnegie, "a person's name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the language." This statement couldn't be any more true. Many people who are masters in their particular industries practice this to their advantage.


Not all of us have the capacity to remember names. In fact, people's poor ability to recall names is so common that it has been the subject of many jokes. However, we have to realize that the failure to remember is a serious issue. Sure, it is very embarrassing. But, it can come at the expense of a friendship, or an important business relationship.


Carnegie was deeply bothered by this folly that he tried to study the reasons behind it and how it can be prevented. In his quest for answers, he found that a person's ability to accurately remember faces and names is not an inherent trait in people. It is a skill that may be learned and taught like any other subject in school.


Below are the steps he suggested so we can recall names a lot better. His recommendations take some practice, but, in the long run, are very effective.


  • Get someone's name clearly when he or she is being introduced to you. Don't hesitate to ask the person to repeat his or her name (politely, of course) if you did not hear it right the first time.


  • Give the name a chance to sink in. You can do this by repeating the name aloud around two to three times and using it during the succeeding conversation.


  • Study the face that owns the name. Note the person's distinguishing physical features. Does he have a mole? Does she have red hair? Does he have unique mannerisms?


  • Connect the name with the face. If this is difficult, try to assign something, an image, that's related to the name. For instance, Mr. Butler might actually be a butler or may dress like one. Or, as Carnegie suggests, create a silly image of the person and his name in your head. You're the only one who knows about this, anyway, so you might as well try to see if it does work.


The issue of name recall may seem minor, but it is actually serious. It has the power to gain peals of laughter, but it also has the capacity to destroy potential and existing relationships. Thus, we must all seek to improve our memories, especially with faces and names. The ideas recommended by Dale Carnegie have worked for many already, but you might have recalled boosting techniques of your own. Use them.