Posted by: jmediamaven | June 9, 2010

Write, Sight and Sound

I have a photographic memory.  I’m not bragging.  It used to be more reliable 20 years ago but it still comes in handy.  When I arrive at someone’s office, I take in my surroundings.  I notice photos, mementos, furniture style.  It helps me get to know the person behind the talker.  I make mental notes about their environment and interests, which I jot down on a notepad in my car after I leave.

That leads me to my note-taking obsession.  It’s worsened as I get older but I comfort myself in believing that it has led me to become a more creative thinker.  You see, I’m equally right-brained and left-brained and that can be hard to manage.

When I made the jump from ad agency to ad sales in my career, I decided to really hone my networking skills.  The most difficult thing about meeting a bunch of new people in an unfamiliar setting is remembering everyone’s name.  You’re bombarded with new faces and name badges (or no name badges).

One of the few pearls I’ve learned thus far in my journey through life is that there’s nothing sweeter than hearing the sound of your name from another human being.  This holds true for business or non-business interactions.

And one of my most valuable assets is being able to connect with someone using their name.  Over time, I’ve fine-tuned my skill to remember people’s names and their subtle nuances.  Here’s how I do it.

  • When I am introduced to someone I’m meeting for the first time, I repeat their name back to them in my response: “It’s so nice to meet you Claire.”
  • I silently repeat their name in my head a few times.  Repetition plays a major role in memory.
  • Listen and listen some more.
  • Mirror what they just said by paraphrasing it.
  • And, of course, take notes.

Thank you for reading, seeing and listening.  Now, I must get back to writing notes on a pad and paper…


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