Week Challenge: Remembering People’s Names – WC#36

Week Challenge: Remembering people’s names – wc#36

“A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language” that’s from Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People. And you know it is true, if you use this in a balanced and efficient way, it is one of those details that will make people know that you care.

If you’ve been following me lately you now I’ve been reading dale Carnegies classic masterpiece How to win friend and influence people. Honestly, I don’t know how many thought leaders and experts have referenced their learning to this book. In part two of this book, called “Six ways to make people like you”  Carnegies outlines 6 principles for how to make people like you;

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  3. Be a good listener. …
  4. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  5. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

Now I’m properly going to be doing a lot from this book, but remembering peoples name is a fun practice and easy to measure, but above all; it’s a pain point for us. Because you’ve all been there way too many times, that awkwardness that occurs when you need to remember the name of the person you just said hello to a few minutes ago, yet you now have no idea. And on the other side of the spectra, when it’s all good, you create a memorable impression, making people realise that you are the kind of person that cares, takes notice and put in the effort to remember their name. You are the kind of person that they will remember.

Think about it, isn’t it worth to invest a few hours for a week to establish a habit that will help relive you from stress and anxiety and make all your social interactions more enjoyable? For me that’s a no brainer, and that’s why this week’s challenge is going be all about remembering people’s names, and by the end of the week should have learned at least ten person’s new names – but most important; founded a lifelong habit of never again forgetting a person’s name again.

On a bigger scale, social skills are just overwhelmingly great for us. I think people that like to be lonely (I am one of them) partly love that because it’s convenient it’s certainty, no risk, you know what you get; that’s a state we like to be at. But speaking from my own experience, I also know that when I push myself to grow these experiences, when I challenge myself to go out and socialise, and do so in what define as successful manner – I love it, deeply.

The last six months I’ve been notoriously writing down my five top moments of the day every evening, and what I’ve come to realize is that 80% of these moments I can attribute to a social interaction. And that comes from a person that always have claimed that I like being alone, am an introvert person, and that being around people sucks all energy out of me.  And that is still true, but not to the same extend. When we develop our social skills, when we learn that it is a skill, a method we can learn and make autonomous, it becomes more fun, it becomes more daunting. It’s like riding a bike, of course it’s a huge effort when we haven’t learned how to do it yet, but soon it becomes more and more effortless. Unless we decide to constantly push ourselves, because we also learn that if we want new kicks and challenges, we need to develop our skills, try out some mountain trails, intervals, meeting new people in new context. That’s the beauty of it, we decide how far we want to take it. It’s all up to you, but remember, relationships and feeling connection to people – love – is properly the strongest and most powerful feeling we can attain in live. If you’re willing to work for it, the pay of is like nothing you’d ever could imagine.

How are we going to do this?

Now there’s a number of different techniques for how to remember people’s names, and I’ve actually done videos on this previously which explained the model we are going to use created by Ron White. It’s a very straight forward five step process:

“1. Focus – your brain. When walking towards the person ask yourself, ‘What is their name?’ This will focus your brain

  1. File – Select an outstanding feature on their face (big eyes, beard, scar, etc)
  2. Picture – Create a picture for their name (Brian = brain, Lisa = Mona Lisa, etc). Get my pictures for names at link above. This is a big step in learning how to remember names
  3. Glue – Imagine the picture for their name on the outstanding feature of their face with action and emotion
  4. Review – review, review. Ask yourself, ‘Who did I meet today?’”

However, for this video I did some more research and found another memory expert named Jim Kwik which had his own system, although very similar, but with some good tweaks too it which I’d like to add:

  1. Start with repeating the name instantly when you say hello, “hello Mike, nice to meet you”
  2. During the conversation, try to say the person’s name 3-4 times, depending on the length of the conversation. Beware, don’t overdo it!
  3. End the conversation with saying the person’s name one last time, “it was nice meeting you Mike”

Now not everybody gets the opportunity to meet ten new people throughout a week, or most of us properly do, but we just don’t care enough to ask what the name of these persons are. I’m talking about the everyday people you meet during you commute, when your shopping, or talking to the seven eleven cashier that hands you your coffee (green tea). Now, you have the opportunity to make this challenge as hard or as easy as you want to, because most of these people have name tags easily readable to you – that’s one way! Or you can just practice approaching new people in a public environment and take this opportunity to practice some talking skills as well. That’s what I’m going to do!  You decide on what level you want to do this.

The objectives:

So the objectives are to talk to peoples who’s name you don’t know, and apply some memory technique of your choosing, so you by the end of the week are able to recall all of them effortlessly! But most important, this is about establishing a long lasting system so you’ll never again forget a persons name!

I strongly believe in the spill over effect, because in the grand scheme of all social skills, remembering people’s names is not in the top of that list, but it’s a quite fun challenge to play around with, and if we get started with something we think is fun, it will make the transfer to adjacent skills much more likely. It’s like when we start doing physical training, it spills over to living a healthier lifestyle overall; eating sleeping etc.

I like these challenges that are really direct and easy to realise if we’ve done them or not. I hope you are in the mood for it as well. If you want to make sure you are going to follow through, commit to me in the comments and let me know you’re going to do the challenge – social accountability increases the likelihood of following through a ton!

Thank you for reading, much love


Links to material I’ve based this on:

Ron Whites video who I learnt it from:


Jim Kwik which has a similar model which I also took inspiration from:


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