Q&A Wednesday: When you forget a name?

by Mindy Lockard on November 3, 2009

name-tagThis past Monday I was the speaker for the Junior League of Eugene‘s November General Meeting.  My presentation was on the power of hospitality and what it means to be a gracious hostess.  One of the JLE members asked a great question in reference to bringing people together through the art of introductions:

Question: What’s the best thing to do when you are making an introduction and forget someone’s name?

Mindy’s Answer: This is such a great question!  Learning and retaining names is one of the biggest struggles my clients have.  We’ve all found ourselves in a situation or two when a name (even one of a friend or family member) goes MIA at a very important time.  The first thing we have to do is get over ourselves and the fear of admitting our error. Or, try to out smart those in our presence with a smooth “no name” conversation.  Trust me, if you go for the “you” conversations with brilliant strategies of… “How are YOU” or “so good to see YOU” the entire conversation the “you” will be on to YOU!

All you have to do is admit you forgot by saying…  are you ready for this?

“Tell me your name again?” Stop.  Say no more. Do not go into a monologue telling them how bad your memory is, or that you don’t EVER remember names, or a detailed plan for a new Ginkgo Biloba diet.  Trust me; your effort to put them at ease by falling over yourself will only make them feel uncomfortable. Simply find out their name through the simple five word question and move on to engaging them through conversation!

Just remember, to listen to their name and commit it to memory.  The second time you ask them to “tell me your name again” it may not go over as well

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Christy 11.04.09 at 11:10 am

Mindy,
I totally agree with you and find that being humble is a better approach then making excuses.
When I see someone I and I have forgotten there name, I will reintroduce myself something like, “Hi I’m Christy I don’t know if you remember me, but we met a couple of times at the park. Its so nice to see you again. Can you remind me of your name again?” But when I start with my name, they usually will say their name. Most likely the other person has forgotten your name as well and awkwardness is gone.
Thank you for blogging and keeping graciousness alive.

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