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Help, I forgot. Now What?

I am often asked for advice in handling the sticky situation of what to do when one forgets the name of a person. It is important to remain calm and not act all awkward and apologetic. Do not beat yourself up, everyone forgets from time to time.

When someone approaches you and you cannot remember their name, give them a warm genuine greeting, smile, extend your hand, reintroduce yourself and say something about when you last met, “Hi, it is so nice to see you again, I’m Francesca and we met at the accounting seminar last month.” They are likely to respond with something along the lines of, “oh yes, I remember you and I am John. How have you been?” Easy breezy, problem solved.

Unfortunately, sometimes the other person won’t cooperate and volunteer their name in greeting you. In that case, your next sentence should something along the lines of, “Would you please tell me your name again, it is right on the tip of my tongue?” Try not to say that you forgot or don’t remember their name because those phrases may make the other person feel badly. Once they provide their name repeat it and immediately follow-up with a memory of when you last met. This reinforces the point that you really do remember them.

Be marvelously well-mannered and reintroduce yourself often. You may very well be helping someone who has a memory lapse.

Have a marvelous week - Catherine

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