Why You May Forget People’s Names, Part II

nametagbkankWhen it comes to people’s names, you may have senior moments, even if you aren’t age-challenged! It’s embarrassing, annoying, irritating and can even be deal breaking. In my first blog, I wrote about hints to help you remember names. This time, I will look at why it happens.

Poor listening skills are usually the culprit. Listening is a six-step hierarchical process with the last rung being remembering.

  1. Sensing
  2. Interpreting
  3. Evaluating
  4. Understanding
  5. Responding
  6. Remembering

Depending on the situation, you may not get past the second or third step, much less to the last one.

Common Causes to Forget Names

  • Prejudging – You may find yourself dealing with preconceived notions because of race, gender, age or occupation, even without consciously wanting to stereotype anyone. In fact, you may be so distracted by these issues that you don’t even “hear” someone’s name.
  • Preoccupation with personal and work distractions such as stress, health problems, people problems, concerns with the “boss,” and traffic. Your mind is not focused in the moment.
  • Daydreaming – Your mind may wonder during a conversation to the 79 you shot on the golf course or the big contract you signed earlier in the day.
  • Lack of interest – This is the hardest one to overcome because you may not care about the person or what s/he is talking about. Mind your manners and be respectful. From a networking standpoint, you don’t know whom that person knows, and it is wise to make a good impression. Also, if you engage someone in a conversation or allow yourself to become engaged, you give her/him the right to talk and listen, and you need to accept that same responsibility.

Whatever the reason you mind may veer, you need to stay in the present and concentrate on the person’s name to remember it, be prepared to introduce the person if someone else joins the conversation and recall it the next day and the day after that!

Next time, I will share tips about what to do … gracefully … when you forget!

Check Breakthrough Networking: Building Relationships That Last for many more networking tips, techniques and strategies.

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