I am a visual person. In fact, there’s a joke around the office that you can’t fully communicate with me unless you’re using hand signals. (I’ve already given Lee credit for Daniel’s ideas, because Lee explained them to me using hand signals and Daniel did not.) Anyway, I’m visual. I can remember a face forever. If I see you in passing, you will look familiar to me the next time I see you. And, I’m pretty good at remembering where I was when I met someone, if I recall what the room looked like when we met. But, I’m terrible – TERRIBLE – at remembering names!
Last weekend, I attended the American Marketing Association’s National Summit in Chicago and met 300+ marketing professionals over the course of three days. Usually, I collect business cards and scribble a comment about something visual on the back of the card to remember the face with the name on the front of the card (“brunette wearing red skirt suit” or “tall, blue shirt and blonde hair”), but, this time I didn’t need to do that. I was able to remember more names than I’ve ever remembered before, all because of a cool interactive networking game we played called Firefly. In fact, Firefly is the reason I was in Chicago. Pocketstop was one of the sponsors for the Leadership Summit, which is where we introduced the Firefly networking game. I won’t go into details about the game, but it basically involves a new person, an image that represents that person, and a smart phone that can display the image. For the first time ever, I actually remembered names in addition to faces! And without scribbling fashion comments on the back of business cards.
It felt good to easily remember the names that went with faces. How embarrassing, when you’re in a position to introduce someone to another contact and you’ve forgotten his or her name. Sure, there’s ways around it, but to properly introduce two business contacts, you’ve pretty much got to remember both party’s names. Have you been there? “Tom, I’d like you to meet….” (Insert feeling of panic here). Well, if you are like me and rely on visual cues to spark your memory, know that you’re in good company and there are ways to remember names when you first meet someone. You just have to find what works for you.
- Sandy Taylor, Accounts Manager