Gary remembered my name. He was a member of an association I served and, from the first time we met, he remembered me. He was purposeful to use my name in conversation each time we spoke and I always walked away feeling like he cared, not just about the information I had or my position at the association but about me. When I left my position there, Gary was one of the people I called to bid farewell to because, over time, he had shown a sincere interest in me and even my family. And it all started with remembering my name.
Remembering a person’s name demonstrates sincere care and interest. As a women’s ministry leader, remembering a woman’s name means you are letting her know you care about her as an individual, as a child of God. And with the impetus of caring, you are opening the door for her to be in relationship with you and the women within your church or ministry.
Since it is so important, we should all be able to just decide to do it and that’s that, right? Ha, not for most of us! It seems that the majority of people don’t have a natural knack for remembering someone’s name, not to mention that oftentimes kids or husbands or menopause seem to steal what little ability we once had. But that doesn’t mean we are beyond help. Here are a few common tips for remembering names:
1. Repeat her name back to her. For example, “It’s great to meet you, Debbie.”
2. Silently repeat it to yourself. Repetition is one of the best memory tools we have.
3. Comment on the name, if possible. Perhaps it’s the name of your hairdresser. Making that connection out loud will help you to remember it.
4. Use it occasionally in the conversation. For example, place her name at the end of a question directed to her.
5. Write it down after exiting the conversation. Make a note in your phone or notebook and include specific notes about the conversation or other identifiers such as “Mary’s sister” or “grew up in Hartford.”
You may be serving at a church that has thousands of women or perhaps you have less than 100. Either way, as a leader in women’s ministry, you will come into contact with women you do not know on a regular basis. My encouragement and “tip” for you this week is to be purposeful to remember her name and call her by name the next time you see her. Your care will be a reflection of the care our Heavenly Father has for her.
Question: What methods do you employ to remember names?