One of the first activities I participated in as a student of the Dale Carnegie Course was one in which we were taught how to better remember the names of the people we’re meeting for the first time — and more importantly remember those names for second, third and fourth encounters.
I was instantly nervous because I know how challenging it can be for me to remember simple things on my to-do list, let alone the first and last name of multiple people I’m meeting for the first time. Our instructor asked us to write down, feasibly, how many of our 40-plus classmates’ names we thought we could remember by the end of the night. My response:
I knew I was probably low-balling it, but I also know how bad my memory is. So then our instructor asked us to write down a number that, if we were able to remember that many people’s names, we would be blown away. So I wrote down 20.
By the end of the class, I knew a little more than 30. So consider me blown away.
I tell this story to illustrate the power that the Dale Carnegie teachings have on seemingly simple things like remembering people’s names. But remember Dale Carnegie’s assertion “that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” So in this one class, I learned a very valuable tool that will reap rewards in both my personal and professional arenas the rest of my life.
So I’m curious, right now, in a room full of people, say, at a networking event, how many people’s names do you think you could remember? Leave your number in the comments.