The Art of Manliness blog continues its string of articles about the “nuts and bolts” of being a gentleman. This post on remembering names is definitely one you will want to read – and remember.
I suspect that, if asked for the number one source of social awkwardness, many of us would say it is remembering names. I have a terrible time of it, and suspect that you do also. The very core of being a Southern Gentleman lies in making others feel comfortable and important. Nothing makes a bigger impression in that regard than the simple act of remembering and using another person’s name.
As I have mentioned previously, I used to be heavily involved in politics. I remember talking with a young man who worked as a volunteer with our local congressman. He and his family had been big supporters for several years, and were at many of his local campaign events. This young man was clearly a face he should have recognized, yet the congressman never remembered or called him by his name. In frustration, he told me that the next time the congressman didn’t remember his name, he will have to find another volunteer. Politicians are famous for paying attention to names (especially big donors), and this congressman’s failure to give that same respect to this teenaged volunteer may have cost him a very hard worker. Trust me on this – dedicated campaign workers are extremely rare, and the politician who neglects them will pay a steep price for that oversight.
Here are some key points from the post. Be sure to read the full article.
The key to being a charismatic gentleman is making others feel important. And what better way to make someone feel important than by remembering their name? Remembering someone’s name tells them that they were special enough to have made a real impression on you. And everybody wants to feel special.
- Commit to listening and remembering
- Repeat early, repeat often
- Have them spell it out
- Use a mnemonic device
- Visualize the person’s name on their forehead
- Associate the person’s name with an easy to remember picture
- Associate the image that represents the person’s name to an outstanding facial feature on the person
- Takes notes
- Practice, practice, practice
These are just the key points – the original post includes the details.