Remember the Name

Remember the name? You just were introduced to someone and, that fast, you forgot. My advice - ask for their name again. Names are powerful. This was hammered home to me when my wife and I took a long weekend together at the Bed and Breakfast at St. Gertrude's Inn. The Inn has a total of four rooms and each morning we met a few new guests as we had breakfast in the Monastery.

As we meandered our way back to our room, an elderly man wished us a nice day. He was travelling with his son and daughter-in-law to a family reunion and was dressed, as older men often do, in nicer slacks and button-up white shirts and blacks shoes.

"You too, Neal," I replied and walked ahead to my room.

As I put the key in the door to open it for Donna, Neal came out of his room and called down the hall to us.

"How did you do that?"

"What?" I was standing there with door open and really had no idea what Neal was talking about.

"You remembered my name," he said. "Why?"

Since I am in business - a small business that will never grow to a big business - I deal with people. If you work, so do you. If you don't work, you still deal with people. And one thing that I try to do is to remember the name.

There are also sorts of systems out there to teach you memory tricks to remember anybody. I don't use any of them but you might want to see if they would serve you.

Dale Carnegie - author of the timeless  How to Win Friends and Influence People - once said that the most powerful word in the English language is a person's name.

It is also the nicest word in the English language, something I knew but needed to be reminded of by Neal. When he asked me why, I floundered for an answer.

"Because it seemed like the right thing to do."

If you want to make someone feel good in an age where the bank and the doctor and the government are busy reducing people to numbers, remember the name. I promise that more people you ever realized will smile at you in appreciation.