I'm awful at remembering some things, and names is one of them. Someone will introduce themself to me, I'll smile and nod, turn around, and completely forget their name. It's embarassing and frusturating, and I feel like a total asshole when I encounter them again.
It doesn't help that I teach kids swimming either. Trying to match names to 50 faces is hard enough, but then the parents come over the very first day to ask how their child is progressing... It's brutal.
Then I have friends with phenomenal memories - they remember names, birthdays, others' schedules... Naturally, they come across as meticulous and caring people, and those are wonderful skills to have.
We feel more respected and valued when someone remembers our name, and we are much more likely to engage in a conversation with someone who uses it too. So when you use someone's name, you identify them as an individual, and when you remember it, it's an indication that you respect and place them in a position of importace.
I say that "I'm terrible with names," and I know that I'm probably just making an excuse. So I've been actively trying to improve my remembering of people's names. Here are some tips that I've found helpful, especially for when I'm meeting more than one person within a short time frame:
1. Focus on the person
Because you actually DO want to remember, right?
2. Repeat their name
Repeat outloud to make sure you're pronouncing it correctly, as this is another opportunity to reinforce the name too. Then repeat in your head a few more times.
3. Associate the name with the face
And try to "fuse" the name with the person's face, if that makes any sense.
4. Think of people with people of the same name
So if you knew one Billy before, now you know two!
5. Rhyme the name
Whatever helps you remember, but sometimes, you just have to keep it to yourself :)
6. Break the name into syllables
Especially with long/uncommon names, I find it much easier to remember two simple syllables than one long stream of letters.
7. Write it down
I'm personally a visual learner, so I like seeing how the name looks on paper.
8. End the convo by repeating their name
Afterall, practice makes better.
9. Ask, if you forget
This is the one I struggle the most with. I really don't like asking them for their name again, especially if they've already remembered mine. But alas, it's better to ask earlier on, than awkwardly avoid calling them for who-knows-how-long.
Hopefully a couple of those tips will be of some help, and if you're already one of those superhumans with perfect memory, well, try not to laugh too hard at my struggling. X)