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How to (Finally!) Remember People’s Names

ShakingHands_400Before you greet your new neighbor or coworker with “Hey…you!” again, try one of these memory tricks from The Working Memory Advantage.

Before you try these methods to remember people’s names, think about whether it is easier for you to process visual or verbal information. Use whichever is easier for you to bootstrap a contact to your long-term memory. The key is to make an effort processing the information and binding it together with something that you already know.

For visual processors: When you meet someone, focus on what that person is wearing, what she looks like, or how she is wearing her hair. Then take that image and bind it to something you already know. For example, you meet a man named Robert and he’s wearing a red tie so you think “red Robert.” Or you meet Maureen and she’s wearing a green necklace and green rhymes with Maureen, so you say to yourself “green Maureen.”

For verbal processors: Pay attention to the conversation and find links with events or memories that happened to you. Here are a few examples of how it works. His name is Phil and he likes to fish, and you have a fish tank in your office. Brian told a joke about a duck, and you just bought a new feather pillow. You meet Jordan, and remember that it’s the same name as one of your high school friends.


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