Have you ever been in a situation when you meet someone who starts conversation and addresses you by your name, but you cannot recall the person’s name? You remember seeing him/her and even perhaps talking at some occasion. The conversation starts in such familiar way that it seems awkward to you to admit that you don’t recall his/her name, and so you have to linger on with generic pronouns like sir or madam, or may be dude or buddy or gal. For people whom you have brushed by in some event or meeting, knows a bit about you, but you cannot be sure of who they are. Such situation gets worst when the same person meets you second time, or third time and still you have had no opportunity to get the correct name. In the current situation when people are with masks, it becomes even difficult to recognise them.
Sometimes people may take offence in such situation when juniors do not recognise their seniors officers. May it be corporate or government, certain human traits remain same for everyone. Expectations of human relationship is genuine and cannot be neglected. That’s why we always try to put face to a name or contact. Telephonic conversations are not sufficient. Thanks to video calling facilities that we are now able to see each other on realtime basis while talking or conducting meetings. But the question of not recalling name of an individual still persists. How to come out of such situation? How to avoid repeating it again and again? Here are some possible solutions:
1. Ask for mobile number and save it in your phone: When you realise that you are likely to encounter the person again, ask for the phone number. When the one gives number, directly save it in your mobile and ask him/her to type name so that you don’t have to say you forgot the name. This may be also because you want to spell out correct spelling. This is one opportunity you should not miss out on. If you fail to do so in first or second meeting, it won’t be an appropriate solution later on.
2. Ask for visiting card: If asking for phone number is not appropriate for the occasion, you may also ask for visiting card, saying you haven’t got it earlier or you missed it. After getting one, talk about the person and his work briefly to enforce it in your mind. This is a genuine attempt to know more about the person who has bothered to remember your name and start a conversation with you. ‘May I get your card please?’ Could be an acceptable way when you move ahead in the discussion.
3. Ask some of your closely known person for detail: If you happen to meet someone whose name you don’t remember, ask your accompanying person or friend. Once the person has departed after conversation, you may ask about him/her. It is likely that your friend or colleague knows him/her. Such trigger will be useful to remember when you meet next. ‘Who is the person? I remember meeting her but don’t happen to recall name?’ You could ask your friend, after the person has left. But it would be a lost opportunity to get number or card if your friend also turns out to be unfamiliar.
These are not tricks or tactics to con someone, but very appropriate way to not offend people in day to day life. Human relationship is based on mutual respect and what is more disrespectful than not even knowing name of a person who genuinely expects you to remember his/her. It is proven fact that the person who remembers names and has ability to even remember personal detail, makes better relations.
Completely detached and professional-only discussions do not lead to warm relationship. So, making an effort, or reciprocating someone’s effort to remember name and strike a conversation is important skill.