What's My Name?

I've done many self-assessments and am in tune with who I am. I enjoy achieving things but I am also quite affiliative in nature. Relationships and connections mean a great deal to me. Yet, I still have a tough time remembering people's names! I find this frustrating, annoying and embarrassing.

Recently we had a new employee join the bank. To save him the embarrassment of being featured in this article I'll refer to him as Janice. (Yes I used a woman's name to describe a man just to make you utterly confused). When I first met him we introduced ourselves as we ordinarily would. But when I saw him a few days later grabbing a quick breakfast he said, "Hi Peter...what's my name?"


Well, I forgot. I admitted it and he told me again. I wrote it in the back of my little notebook that I carry around. When I saw him a few days later, I took a quick look at my book (I didn't really need to but I needed to be sure) and I preemptively said, "Good Morning Janice!" I've never forgotten his name since.

I reflected on this event and wanted to grab the learning from it. Good for Janice I concluded. He wanted to be noticed, remembered, and he helped me out significantly. And what is wrong with that? It does make a difference when people remember your name. It is hard to be noticed and remembered. At the end of the day it is your responsibility to become a part of the fabric of an organization and to find your spot. Yes, you should be remembered for your work, your attitude, your behaviour, your leadership and your results but why not ensure people know also your name?

There is scientific evidence related to why we have a hard time remembering names and I'm certain most intuitively understand that the research points to how our brains are hardwired. While it's great to understand why we forget names, it is more useful to know that there are in fact solutions, one of them being writing a name down - something I'm happy to know I'm in the habit of doing!

Janice helped me tackle this issue head on and in turn became a teammate I will never forget. I say thank you "Janice"!