Dollars and Sense: Remembering names is very important

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 28, 2007

You are at a local retail store and you run into someone with whom you have some affiliation (work, school, church, etc.).

The person starts up a conversation and for a million dollars, you simply cannot recall their name.

The vast majority of us have had to endure this type of embarrassing situation.

The ability to recall names is one of the most important skills that anyone, business person or not, needs to develop.

Understand that this is a skill that can be learned with the commitment and practice.

The reason that most adults do not remember names is because most adults have very poor listening skills.

The first thing you need to realize is that to remember the names of lots of people, you must sharpen your listening skills.

To help you become an expert in remembering names use the DIAL

word association process.

The &8220;D&8221; reminds us that when we meet someone, we should immediately make note of something distinct (voice, hair, height, facial features, etc.) about the person.

The &8220;I&8221; reminds us to make a mental note of our first impression of the person (cheerful, somber, serious, friendly, etc.).

The &8220;A&8221; reminds us to remember an association of something that we can connect the person&8217;s name to.

For example, you meet a gentleman named Jim Bridges who happens to be a civil engineer who builds bridges.

The association with bridges would help us remember his name the next time we meet.

And finally, the &8220;L&8221; reminds us to look directly at the person and really listen to their name. Concentrate on listening to a person&8217;s name when you are introduced.

If you did not hear the name clearly, do not hesitate to ask the person to repeat it. &8220;I&8217;m sorry, I did not quite catch your name, could you repeat it please.&8221;

This is easy to accomplish because the person will be very pleased that you are making a sincere effort to learn their name.

Practice and use the DIAL method as often as possible and very soon, your ability to recall names will drastically improve.