Business Etiquette: Hello, Your Name Is......

Posted by Kerri Garbis
April 3, 2012

How to navigate a tricky business etiquette moment- a forgotten name.

business etiquetteWhile it may sound like I am bragging, I have to tell you, I have a fantastic memory. I remember names, places, facts, and numbers, not to mention scripts. It does not take much effort on my part.

I realize this is not the case with most people.  I have many friends who refer to me as “the elephant”, and I have freaked out enough people by regurgitating WAY too much information about them while they stare at me blankly to know that my recall talent is rare.

So what can you do when you cannot remember someone’s name?  Here are my top three tips:

#1 Admit It, nicely ~ “Would you remind me of your name, please?”
Said without any excuses like “Sorry, I never remember names”, which can make you appear like you don’t care, is the best way to go. Please forgo the awkward attempted glance at a name tag*.  A simple, honest question is best.

Give them a hint ~ “Nice to see you, I’m Kerri from Ovation Communication.” If you offer your information first the other person may reciprocate. If not, see the above, go-to phrase.

#3 Make them feel important ~ “I remember meeting you at the Training Conference and you spoke about E-Learning.  Would you remind me of your name please?”If you can remember anything about the person, let them know.

There is an abundance of helpful information available for ways to improve your name memory including: Tricks People Use To Remember Names, How To Remember Names, Faces, and Where You Put Your Keys, Tricks for Remembering Names.

What are your best practices for remembering people’s names?

*Your name tag should be worn on the right side. It is best placement for the people you are meeting.  They can easily shake your hand, meet your gaze, and glance at your name tag in one quick motion.


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