Important Lawyer Skills – Remembering Names – Develop a System

In his classic– How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnage counsels:  “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in the English language.”   When you remember someone’s name you are telling them that you recognize that they are worth remembering– they are important.  Learn to remember names well, and you will do much to win new friends and positively influence people.  The lawyer with the ability to readily recall the names of others, will also be more confident in any social situation.   He or she will become the network center– introducing others and gaining the appreciation of all they encounter.

So you say– I’m horrible with names– what am I to do?  As you may suspect, technology can provide some support.  One mnemonic method is to enter the names of anyone you meet at a gathering into your iPad or SmartPhone right after the gathering.  Use the notes section of the contact form to detail where you met the person and something unique about them.  This will allow you to search your notes to locate the name next time you encounter the person.  Also, the fact that you enter the data close in time to meeting the person will help you remember the name in your brain database.

Not surprisingly that there is an iPhone App (iPad compatible) for that– Namerick ($1.99 App Store).  This App provides a template for listing memory joggers.  With the iPhone 4S, you even have the capability of dictating this information. The App creates a memory limerick, a strategy that memory research has shown to be effective.  Namerick also has the ability to remind you of the names of people you have met and their associated memory joggers at scientifically prescribed intervals.  The App is highly rated.  A video of the App in use can be found at:

For some old fashioned tips for remembering names see the following:

Bottom line– the time spent learning to remember the names of others will make you a better lawyer and better human being.

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