Have Trouble Remembering Names? Here’s Help

Most of us have found themselves in situations where the name of the person before them eludes them. This could be not just embarrassing, but it could actually offend the person. So if you are looking to remember names of people better and avoid many a social and even professional faux pas, then you should keep the following in mind:

thinking nameBenjamin Levy’s FACE method: This has four components: Focus, Ask, Comment and Employ.

When you are introduced to a person, it goes without saying that you should be paying attention and focusing on the moment at hand and on the person as well.

It doesn’t help to remember a name if you are mentally a thousand miles away; it helps to actually focus on the person and their face.

Secondly you ask the person something (so is that Jane with a y in it? or similar) about their name.

Thirdly try and form an association with the name and comment on the name (my best friend in middle school had the name Ashley as well; or Ashley is one of the most popular names in recent times). Fourthly, try and use or employ the name in conversation immediately (So Jane, can I call you Jane, it is great to know you are studying environmental science or similar).

Repetition is best: As soon as you hear the person’s name, repeat it inside your head and if possible in conversation as well. Work the name into a courteous statement like “it is good to make your acquaintance Ted” and try and repeat the name in conversation in a way that sounds normal and not forced or contrived.

Picture the name: If you meet a Cherry then you know what image to think of; if you meet a Jerry even, you could think of the cartoon character from the Tom & Jerry series. Try and think of a picture even when you meet a person called say, Shirley (a Shirley Temple drink perhaps?).

Spell it out: It is a good idea to ask how to spell the person’s name; most names have variations in spellings. If you meet Ms Smith for instance, it could be Ms Smyth or a Ms Psmith etc. And if you try and visualize that person with the name spelled out on their forehead, rather like a billboard of some sort, you will likely remember it a lot better.



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