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3 Basic rules to help remember names

Published on Monday, 24 Feb 2014

What’s in a name? The early days of any new job are a blizzard of new information – terminology, rules, IT procedures and, of course, faces and names. It’s often easier to remember your security password than the name of the person who helped you set it up.

The 20th-century American selfimprovement guru, Dale Carnegie, once said: “A person’s name is, to him or her, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Using someone’s name makes him feel warmer towards you. Remembering the names of your new colleagues can be the key to negotiating your new role – make a good impression by recalling their names and they’re more likely to help you out should you need anything, which is crucial for all new joiners. Many people find it difficult to remember the names of those they have just met, but following three basic rules can make a huge difference to your powers of recall.

1. Concentrate
The typical reason for forgetting names is lack of concentration. One trick is to really focus on your new colleagues’ faces and roles, and then associating these with their name.

2. Clarify
Often, we don’t hear a new  name the first time or are unsure how to spell it. This is particularly true in an international setting such as Hong Kong. Does your new colleague like to use their Chinese or Western name? If you’re not sure, you can always ask.

3. Consolidate
Write new names down, then review and compare them with the group chart. Following these rules can help you make a positive impact in your new job. And as you expand your network beyond your organisation, they will be your key to success.

Matthew Hill, managing director, Ambition Hong Kong


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