“Remember a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” –Dale Carnegie
Here is the image that immediately popped into my mind as I began reading this chapter. In my mind all the instances that I forgot someone’s names flashed in my mind like a movie. Confession, I am horrible at remembering names. When I have to ask for someone’s name more than once, these words always fall out of my mouth, “Sorry I am way better with faces than names.” This is the truth. Names are the hardest for me.
Last week, I closed the book feeling pretty spiffy. I thought to myself, I like smiling. I can do this. I already do this. This isn’t hard! Then I read on and embraced this new chapter and thought, Oh crap.
I have no problem asking for someone’s name or reading his or her nametag when I am placing my order for lunch, but when it comes to remembering it…well it requires some focus and intentionality.
At the end of this chapter, Dale Carnegie shared a fantastic example that I plan on mimicking. And it is my challenge to all of us for the week: intentionally engage a client, friend, or a random person you meet and practice these four steps listed below.
Napoleon the Third, Emperor of France was known for remembering the name of every person he met, in spite of his royal duties. And here is how he would do it.
1. Ask his or her name upon meeting
2. Intentionally repeat their name during the conversation while talking
3. During the conversation he would associate his or her name with the person’s features, appearance, and expressions
4. When he got alone he would write the name down
In light of all this, I closed the book with a conviction. I forget names as easy as I can turn on my TV. But when you decide to remember a person’s name, you are showing that person how much you value he or she has. A name sets each one of us apart. A name is wholly and completely owned by the person we are dealing with. It makes people unique. This is a small example of a greater truth: each person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. No matter what he or she believes, or how difficult he or she may be, every person deserves respect and our full attention. Taking the time to remember something as simple as a name, is a small yet profound way of honoring the person.
So how you do handle remembering names? Would love to hear how you all do it!