I know it’s corny advice: Remembering names is important.

But no matter how (much older) I get, the wisdom of that increases all the time.

A few days ago, I was facilitating a leadership program. One group of six had been working together for two days, but during an activity, one of the group members admitted he didn’t know the name of someone sitting at the same table. He was embarrassed, and she was shocked.

If it’s difficult to remember the name of someone you have been interacting with for two days, imagine how hard it is to remember the names of people you have spoken briefly with at a booth, jewelry party or even on the phone.

We often instantly forget a name we just heard because the “visual” overwhelms, and we fail to transfer the name actively into our short- or long-term memory.

Actively repeating the name and even writing it down (which is my preferred method) can help you associate names with faces and make sure you can recall the name when you want.

When I write down the name, I also write down where I met them, something memorable about their appearance, and a few facts I learned about them. I do this on a 3×5 card or in the “notes” section of my phone. Reviewing periodically helps cement things!

If you are in a situation where you forget a name you were just told, it’s easy to say, “Hey, I’m sorry but I’ve forgotten your name … please tell me again?”

What’s in a name? Quite a bit.

Now go make something great!

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