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Why we forget names…. …and what to do about it

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Why we forget names.
You introduce yourself to some one at an event. You give your name, they give theirs
and ……….pooh it’s gone.
It’s gone; it came straight from their mouth, should have reached your ears but
something happened. It’s gone; where is it? Flying around the room somewhere.
Why is that? Dare I suggest it’s nothing to do with your memory; it’s to do with your
focus. Now it’s not as if they pushed their name in and you weren’t expecting it; you
were you knew it was going to happen.
You are wanting to make a great first impression. A good smile, perfect eye contact ,
the professional handshake not too firm and definitely not cringingly sloppy but the
issue is you’re thinking all about yourself. Instantly forgetting their name negates all
the other great actions you’ve taken.
You then start to talk then you think ‘What’s her / his name, what’s his / her name’?
Consequently you stop concentrating on the person and the conversation!

What to do about it?
If this name- remembering business is an issue for you then be prepared and focus. As
you meet someone be ready to hear their name then when you do hear it, repeat it
back to them. If you have listened carefully but it’s a very noisy room or they say
their name very quickly or they have an unusually-sounding name then ask them to
repeat it. They will be flattered you are interested in them and the chances of them
saying ‘Look I’ve told you once I’m not going to tell you again’ is highly unlikely!
Use their name once or twice through the conversation, no more it’s irritating, and if
Jo, who you know, comes over to you , you will not have that highly embarrassing
situation of saying “ Hi Jo this is…………….”.Aarrgh.


To finish
Dale Carnegie summed it up 80 + years ago in his famous book ‘How to win friends
and influence people.
“ A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any

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