I love teaching young people everything I've learned about succeeding in life, leadership, and operating at peak performance. I'll take any opportunity I can to help others live, learn, and lead.
Not long ago I was having breakfast on the second day of a conference with over 400 college students, eager to learn the art of entrepreneurship. My table was filled with nine somewhat attentive, well... half awake anyway, but otherwise ambitious young lads and ladies ready to take on any challenge. A gentleman I had met a month before at a similar event walked by, I stopped him and asked, "Hey Paul, how have you been?" After exchanging a few kind words with Paul, I turned to the table and explained the secret to remembering peoples names.
"Maddy," I said, "I met Paul at a conference a month ago and still remember his name. I used to be terrible with names. I'd even brag about how awful I was at remembering someone's name. Until one day, I read a newspaper article on the subject."
[Newspapers are these things people used to get their information from before blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. There are a few still in circulation. I have one delivered to my home everyday. You can also find them in grocery stores, gas stations, and your local library.]
Ok, back to my amazing ability to remember people's names. "The newspaper article that changed my name remembering prowess simply explained, 'PEOPLE THAT SAY THAT THEY CAN'T REMEMBER NAMES ARE PEOPLE THAT DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR NAME ANYWAY'."
Wow! That hit home. The truth is, I really didn't try very hard to remember people's names. Why would I, I had that great excuse I've been bragging about for years.
I've learned to turn this from a weakness into a strength. When I meet someone new, I aways repeat their name throughout the conversation. I'll say things like, "So Maddy, where are you from?" Or, "So Maddy, what do you do?" Or, "Maddy, what's it like being in business for yourself?"
If I can repeat your name at least three times throughout our initial conversation, there is a good chance I will be able to remember you and your name. I will also use word associations (silently in my head). Like, Maddy's major is Business Management. Or something even simpler like, Gene wears glasses.
"The main point is, if you put the effort in, it makes a big difference. It shows you really give a damn."
Maddy, one of the students at my table and the main focus of my lesson replied, "That's really cool and everything, but my name is Mandy."
Check out John's book, No Shorts, Flip Flops, or Sunglasses. Free shipping. Proceeds benefit Children's Dyslexia Centers.
by John Wasserman
Proceeds benefit Children's Dyslexia Centers