Using Mind Markers to Remember New Contacts
Updated: Jan 10
Something I learned early on as a performing artist is that people like to be remembered.
It's easy at first, when you only know a few people. But after you've met thousands, how can you remember them all? It's an awkward moment when you meet someone out unexpectedly that seems excited to see you, and you can't recall for the life of you who they are, or where you met them.
You may've been to a conference where you've collected contact cards and, once you've returned to the office, can remember only a couple you interacted with at length. Why do you remember them? Because the interaction was punctuated in your mind by something they said, a common interest, their personality, etc.
Even in brief interactions, you can apply this same principle of mind markers to help you commit them to memory. I met someone today whose name I wanted to remember. As she introduced herself, saying her name to me, I made eye contact with her and repeated it back to her--"Ann Marie." I had noted earlier in the interaction that she had a pretty gold diamond ring with accent diamonds on both sides.
After she said her name, I also mentally related her to Ann Margaret who shared similar red hair (cheesy, I know.) So, in a brief, 5-10 second interaction, I knew now I wouldn't forget Ann Marie, with the red hair and pretty gold diamond ring.
It's really a pretty simple habit of active listening and association that can punctuate your interactions to help commit them to memory. It feels really good to see the smile (and sometimes, surprise) on a person's face when you greet them by name after only a brief interaction, and it definitely helps contribute to establishing rapport more quickly.