Thursday, July 22


I remember the time that my family explained the meaning behind my name. Brock. It was my grandmother's maiden name. They wanted to use it as my first name and it sounded masculine. I loved and admired my grandmother, so I was very honored. Throughout my life, I have noticed that more people call me by name than I call them by name. Is it because my name is unique? Or are they better at making breakthroughs in relationships by using the most important word to a person, their name.

There are countless methods that have been introduced to recall names. Name associations, repeating, spelling the name, and exchanging business cards are ways to improve your memory of names.

One of the biggest obstacles many people face is that they are preoccupied in other thoughts to remember the person's name they just met. We get so consumed in the meeting, our agenda, our speech, the surroundings to even pay attention to the people we are meeting and their names.

I had a senior seminar class at Middle Tennessee State University and the final project was a mock interview. We were tasked to find a potential job that we would like to "interview" for. To get the most out of it, we were instructed to find a realistic job. I selected a regional trainer job and started preparing for the interview. Our professor had friends and connections in the area that would serve on the interview panel.

The day of the interview arrived and I was prepared. I had interview plenty of times and I knew what my skills were and how to answer certain questions. We were even given the list of the names of each member of interview ahead of time. I was game ready. Or so I thought.

I walked into the room, we made introductions and so it began. As I went to answer and say the name of the interviewer, I drew a blank. For 30 minutes. I did not remember 1 of the 5 member panel's names. And to make it worse, I didn't even use my professor's name. What happened?

The focus on the interview questions, looking prepared and professional, and serving my own needs kept me from being in the moment and viewing the interaction as a two-way street. And not down my one-way lane I created. I received feedback about the interview. It was all good. Except. I didn't connect. "Say my name," they said.

Using someones name is about connecting. It is about building a relationship. Using and remembering someones name is important to them. And it should be to you.

How do you remember names? Do you have any great experiences where using someones name created a lasting impression and relationship. Post your comments here.

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