Have you ever run into someone you have met before, and for the life of you, you cannot remember the person’s name? I know I have, and I hate when that happens. When people remember your name, don’t you feel flattered, important, and valued? Dale Carnegie felt it was important to include this principle in his human relations training course: “Remember that a person’s name, to that person, is the sweetest,most important sound in any language.”
I always want to be a person who encourages and edifies people. One of the best ways to do that is to remember a person’s name, and I really do want to get better at that. It’s not good enough to say, “I am bad with names.” What better way to make a person feel good than to remember his or her name? Therefore, I have come up with an acronym, P.R.A.I.S.E., that may help you remember the names of people you encounter on a daily basis:
P is for Pray. If you really want to remember names, start out by asking God to help you. James 4:2 says, “You have not because you ask not.” Furthermore, John 14:26 says the Holy Spirit will bring all things to your remembrance.
R is for Repeat. Make sure you repeat the name of the person when they introduce themselves, and use the name in the conversation that follows as much as possible. This is especially true when a person has a complicated or unusual name. Repetition will help you to further cement the name into your brain.
A is for Associate. Try to associate the person’s name with someone you know or a famous person with the same name. For instance, I met a young lady named Maleah today. So I associated her with Malia Obama. If the person’s name is Kim, and you have a sister named Kim, you can say to the individual, “My sister’s name is Kim,” and that will help to anchor the information into your mind.
I is for Imagine. Try to vividly imagine a scenario in your head that is associated with the name. For example, if the person’s last name is Rose, imagine yourself beating them with a dozen roses. If the last name is Gatewood, imagine the person tripping and falling over a short fence with a gate and falling on a pile of wood. For the association example, I could imagine the person I met wrestling with Malia Obama. Make your imaginations as graphic and vivid as possible.
S is for Spell. Ask the person to spell his or her name, and then you spell it aloud. This will help to improve your memory, especially if the name is unusual or complex.
E is for Examine. Examine the person for any unusual features they may possess. Choose something about them that is unique and stands out. For example, if the person’s hair is totally white, focus on that as you attempt to commit their name to memory. Focusing on the person’s unique attributes will help to trigger your memory of having met the person before when you see him or her the next time.
I am challenging you (and myself) to make an effort to remember the names of those you meet. Not only will it make people feel important, but it’s good to exercise your brain to keep your memory sharp for the future. Also, don’t keep saying, “I’m not good at names.” That just compounds the problem because Jesus said you will have exactly what you say (Mark 11:23). However, if you use the techniques above, you will be better able to remember names, you can improve your memory overall, and you can make others feel good about themselves all at the same time. I dare you to give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.
Do you have a method of remembering names that works for you? Please share by leaving a comment below.
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