(4b) Learning to run our brain: Remembering names

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Two business men shaking hands; photo from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handshake

Wednesday, June 30, 2010: This is part (b) of the fourth (4th) article in a series of seven (7) articles designed to help us run our very own brain more easily, and to make sure our children or our students learn how to run their very own brains more easily.

If you missed the Introduction and the first three (3) articles , or part (a) of this fourth (4th) article, simply click on the titles below:

(Intro) Learning to run our brain: 10 minutes daily

(1) Learning to run our own brain: Fear of failure

(2) Learning to run our brain: Vital need for HOPE . . . always

(3) Learning to run our brain: What are qualifications for the daily “brain coach?”

(4a) Learning to run our brain: Simple easy examples of how to proceed


The Brain’s Initial  “Registration” (“Brain Inputs”) Example

The classic example is when we meet a new person. Oh yeah! The face may be remembered somewhat (at least how they look at that particular time and in that particular context). The name is usually “gone” in about three (3) seconds flat, eh? 😮

So what can we do consciously to register the person’s name?

Use “multiple” sensory inputs–and repetition–together:

(1) Visual (eyes–the top drawer of the brain’s vertical “filing cabinet”):

Look directly into the person’s eyes (don’t just look at them “vaguely”); and notice the rest of their face and person in your peripheral vision as well; when you depart from them, if appropriate, look unobtrusively at the whole person and register any details you wish to note for later.

What if it’s an ultra important name?

If it is supremely important that you remember this person’s name, use your imagination (your “mind’s eye”) to write their name on them somewhere; place an imaginary name tag on them or on their forehead or arm if necessary. 😮 Be goofy about this within yourself and you will remember much longer. And write the name in color with with outlandish-looking letters and it will register more strongly with your brain. The brain loves fun and foolishness. 😮 So does your mouth; this nonsense will probably add to the warmth of your smile.

(2) Auditory (ears–the middle drawer of the brain’s vertical “filing cabinet”):

“Hi” [name]; repeat: “Glad to meet you, [name].”

“How are you spelling your last name, exactly? I like to be accurate.” 😮

(3) Kinesthetic (tactile/haptic/proprioceptive, plus feelings–the bottom drawers of the brain’s vertical “filing cabinet”):

Shake their hand while saying their name; put the other hand into the clasp also, if appropriate; no “limp fish” handshakes please (unless the person’s culture requires it); register how you feel about this person and try to be charitable and compassionate. 😮

Smile. 😮

We know the adage: “There but for the grace of God go I.” We give them the benefit of the doubt, even if our “first impression” is not “first-class.”

(4) Add repetition of their name wherever/however you can:

To give yourself the chance to repeat their name [for your brain’s sake], engage the person in very brief conversation. Say something simple and quick:  “Do you live here in town, [name]?” Or, “Where do you work, [name]?”  Or, “What is your profession or line of work, [name]?” Whatever.

Maybe even a trivial, “I sure like the weather we’re having, [name].” 😮

Or how about, “Have you met my friend/colleague/spouse/hostess, [name]?”

The perfect way to learn is to teach, right? As you introduce this new person to someone nearby whom you know [or just met], you may have the chance to repeat their name many times. Good!

For registration purposes, the brain loves repetition.

And of course, it is imperative that you say, as you “exit” the introduction: “I’m pleased to meet you, [name].” Or more warmly, “I’m glad I met you, [name].” Or some other appropriate exit sentence. One last chance to repeat the name, eh?

Now . . . wasn’t that fun? 😮

Doc Meek, Wed, June 30, 2010, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

P.S. “Could you please repeat your last name again, to help me remember?” 😮

P.S.S. For additional ideas, read Dr. Arman Darini’s short article entitled, “Easy Memory Techniques for Remembering Names.” Link:  http://www.streetdirectory.com/etoday/easy-memory-techniques-for-remembering-names-wpeffp.html

“What if you are smarter than you think?”

J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
Trusted Learning/Teaching Guide
[“Everyone” says: “Fun to work with.”]



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3 Responses to “(4b) Learning to run our brain: Remembering names”

  • Uinise Langi:

    Ha ha! I love this article. I get to a point in life when I have a very difficult time with names. It can be embarrassing sometimes, especially when you know the person, the name is at the tip of your tongue, but you can’t come up with the name. Thanks for great tips. I’ll try it.

  • Hi Uinise, I am glad you enjoyed this article on remembering names. One person said that for every name you remember you forget one. This is not true! For every name you remember well, you remember others too, because you are mastering the art and science of remembering. Our brains have infinite capacity to remember, so it is just a matter of training ourselves to register and repeat, eh? Blessings, Doc Meek

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