Friday, January 23, 2009

Remembering Names - Plan B

When I was working, I was proud of my ability to remember peoples names after a single introduction. I would almost always be able call someone by their first name even if I hadn't seen them for several months. My secret to great recall? Whenever I was introduced to someone new, I would look them in the eyes and mentally repeat their name as they introduced themselves. This was Plan A and has worked 95+% of the time for me.

However, since taking early retirement, I've noticed my skill at remembering names has declined. I have forgotten many names of the people I worked with, especially if I only interacted with them a couple times a month or less. In addition, people who hired into my first organization 10-15 years ago still remember me, since I was in charge of recruiting, but I have not seen many of them for 8-10 years.

Forgetting names is only an issue because we decided to continue living in the same area after retiring. In addition, retirees are invited to annual family events and are allowed to use the company health facility. Thus, I sometimes run into people who call me by name, but I am no longer quite sure of their name. Often, I will remember their name correctly some time into the conversation, but occasionally I do not.

In college, my roommate and I developed a Plan B, because he knew a lot of people, but wasn't particularly good at remembering names. Whenever we met an acquaintance of his, he would introduce the person immediately if he remembered their name. If he didn't introduce the person, it was my cue to say, "Sorry my roommate hasn't introduced us yet, my name is .....," which would also provide the other person an opening to say their name and my roommate would give his apologies for forgetting to introduce us.

I may need to also develop a Plan B if my memory of names declines further. Of course, my college roommate no longer lives near me. However, my spouse is often with me when we see former company colleagues at events, while shopping or dining out, which offers the opportunity to use Plan B.

For more on Reaping the Rewards, check back every Friday for a new segment.

This is not financial, health or social advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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1 comment:

Manshu said...

Hilarious! :)