The interview process is over. You’ve just been hired, and now that you’re gainfully employed, you want to make a good impression on your coworkers. One way to do this is to remember the names as you’re introduced. It’s not an easy task, because there’s only one of you, and there may be dozens of them. The faster you remember their names, the easier your job will be. Your coworkers will appreciate this and have the impression that you care enough about them to put forth the effort.
Here are some tips to help you remember names.
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As you are introduced to your new coworkers, pay very close attention to each person’s name. You will probably form an impression of each person, so mentally associate the name with something that will help you remember. For example, you might think, “Hal can be my pal,” “Mary seems rather contrary,” or “Steven appears to be even-tempered.”
These examples rhyme, but they don’t have to. “Janice the organizer” and “Kip the smiley-faced guy” are helpful associations.
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As soon as the other person’s name is said, look him or her in the eye and repeat it in the most natural way possible. Something like, “It’s nice to meet you, Taylor,” or “I look forward to working with you, Shannon,” are examples of how you can do this.
If the person’s name is unusual, you might even comment on its uniqueness. Continue saying the person’s name in your mind and try to use it once more in conversation.
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Find something to associate the person with his or her name. For example, if the person’s name is Mark, imagine him being a marksman. Picture Angela as an angel with a halo over her head. During the conversation, pick up on clues to help you remember their names.
If nothing obvious comes to mind, use alliteration. Examples of these techniques include Gary plays golf, Sheila enjoys shopping, or Mandy likes milkshakes.
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Use songs to help you remember people’s names. When you meet someone whose name is in the title of a song you’re familiar with, play the first line of the tune in your mind. Examples of this are “Barbara Ann,” “Wendy,” and “Gloria.”Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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Use Your Name as an Example
If your name is unusual, difficult to pronounce, or spelled differently, make a production of helping others with it. Give them a tool to remember how to pronounce it.
For example, if your name is Siobhan, pronounced Shiv-on, demonstrate a shiver and then add “on.” Others may pick up on the cue to do the same with their names, helping you remember.
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Jot It Down
As soon as you get to your desk, write down the names you remember. Add other information to jog your memory, such as, “Lisa in the next cubicle,” or “Alex by the copy machine.”
Other information you may want to jot down includes their position, how their jobs relate to yours, and personal interests that come up in conversation.
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If in Doubt, Ask
As soon as you realize you can’t remember a person’s name, ask. Doing this early in your working relationship is better than waiting until you’ve been there a month.
Most people understand that you have quite a bit to remember your first few days or weeks, so they’re not as likely to be offended as they would be later.