How to Avoid the Awkward Moment When You Forget Someone’s Name

Dale Carnegie Win Friends Influence PeopleDale Carnegie, author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” said that a person’s name is the “sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Whether in a business networking situation or a friendly party, being able to remember people’s names is an important skill for your career and your social life.

Here are a few tips for cementing those names in your memory so that you never have to be embarrassed again:

Use Their Name Right Away

As soon as someone introduces themselves to you, try to use their name naturally in the conversation as soon as possible. For example, if they say, “Hello, I’m Peter,” you can say “Nice to meet you Peter, I’m John.”

This solidifies the name in your mind and associates it with them, before it slips away out of your memory. If you can, try to call them by their name a few times in the conversation to reinforce the name in your mind.

Only do this if it comes naturally however, because they might think you are strange if you say their name too many times.

Make an Association

Another way to hold the name in your mind is to associate it with a physical characteristic of the person. For example, if you meet a guy with red hair named Ted or a really tall woman named Samantha you can repeat “Red Head Ted” or “Six Foot Sam” in your mind when you want to remember their name.

Make sure that you choose a characteristic such as eye color, size, hair color, or a facial feature rather than clothing or accessories because “Purple Sweater Pat” might not be wearing the same sweater next time you meet her.

Be careful not to say these physical attribute nicknames out loud, because others might find them offensive.

Write it Down

If you are at a conference or a networking event where you are meeting lots of different people, you can make notes on a small notepad or on the “Notes” function of your phone to help you remember names.

Write the person’s name down and a few details about them such as what they do for a living, what they look like, and how you met them.

Remembering names can seem difficult, but if you try these easy tricks you will avoid the awkwardness and be able to greet people by the right name every time!


You’re an Idot! How to Argue Your Point Respectfully…

Every so often you will be on an internet forum, sitting around the dinner table, or at a cocktail party, and someone else will utter an observation or an opinion which will be so completely misguided and wrong that it will make you want to smash your head against the table and weep for the future of humanity.

You might be tempted to call them a ridiculous and ill-informed idiot, but wait! If you resort to name calling and personal attacks, you will be perceived as a complete jerk no matter if people are swayed by your counter argument or not. There is another way that you can express your disagreement while holding onto your dignity and respect.

Here are some tips for arguing fairly:

Discuss the Point and Not the Speaker

Although it might feel good in a childish way, calling your opponent names is not the way to engage in an intelligent debate. Separate what the person is saying from who is saying it, and discuss the point that they are making.

Don’t try to say something like, “Well, you would say that because you are ______” or “You don’t know anything about that because you are __________”.

Think about how frustrating it would be if someone tried to discredit the point you were making by making personal comments about you!

Acknowledge What They Get Right

Listen carefully to what your debate partner is saying, and don’t forget to acknowledge the parts which do have a bit of truth to them. They could have the right facts, but might be just interpreting them in a way which doesn’t make sense.

When you say things like, “I see what you are saying about X, and I agree. However, I don’t agree with the conclusion you are making,” it shows people that you are taking their argument seriously and listening to them.

State Your Opinion and Evidence

When it’s your turn to say your piece, state your opinion clearly and succinctly. Explain what it is that you think, and provide concrete examples which support what you are trying to say.

You can even site common criticisms of your position, and explain why you think they are irrelevant or why you disagree. Say what you want to say in a straight forward and confident manner, without attacking, accusing, or blaming.

In the end, the saying “You can’t change a stubborn mind” might apply to your opponent and they may leave the situation still holding their view. However, if you have expressed yourself confidently, clearly, and respectfully you can be proud of yourself for standing up for what you believe in.


How to Follow Up After a Job Interview

Do you ever wonder what the best way is to follow up after a job interview?  Is email to impersonal?  Is snail-mail too slow?  Will the Job Interviewinterviewer even notice or care?

Well, one thing is for certain.  If you don’t follow up at all, you’re quite sure that they won’t notice at all.   In fact, so few people follow up in any way you might just set yourself apart and make the difference in being considered for the position.

By reinforcing your interest in the position with a friendly follow up you will push your name to the forefront of the hiring manager’s mind. This little touch might just be the extra that makes you stand out from the others.

If you have just been to an interview for your dream job and all has gone well, you might want to consider following up with the employer in one or more of these ways:

Sending an email thank you note

This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to follow up on an interview. Write a short and friendly email to the employer thanking them for taking the time to meet with you. You also have the opportunity to touch on anything you talked about in the interview and reiterate your desire for the position. Make it short and sweet however, as the employer will not want to read several pages about how much you dream of working for them.

Mail a Thank you Card

Taking the time to use snail mail rather than email will certainly make you stand out from the rest of the applicants! By actually mailing a card, you will be creating a memorable impression in the employer’s mind which will help them associate your name with someone who goes the extra mile.

Use Social Media

Use a social networking website such as Twitter or Linked In to send a quick thank you to the employer. Again, the message doesn’t need to be long but can be a simple “thanks for your time” or a “nice to meet you”.

The advantage of this is that it connects the employer to your online profile, and if you are using social media well this should lead them to a website or an online portfolio which further showcases your brilliance.

Taking the time to follow up after an interview is the special touch that will make your application stand out and it just might help you achieve that dream job!

Want a Great Holiday Survival Strategy? How to Take Criticism like a Champion

One of the hardest things in the world can be to receive negative criticism on something we have done. No one wants to feel like they havecritic quote done something wrong and hearing someone talk about our faults and mistakes can make us very frustrated and discouraged.

However, criticism doesn’t have to be so bad when you approach it with the right attitude. In fact, when you think of it in the following way, it can actually benefit you positively and help you improve.

Here is how:

Separate yourself from what is being criticized

Whenever we put our time and effort into doing something or creating something, we inevitably invest a little part of ourselves in it. Therefore, whenever anyone tells us that it is not good, whether it is a dance performance, a chili con carne, or a business report, it is easy to feel hurt.

When someone criticizes your work, you might feel like they are criticizing you as well and their comments can make you feel discouraged and defensive.

The first step to taking criticism like a champion is to completely take yourself and your fragile ego out of the equation. When you do something, make sure that you are able to separate yourself from it and view it objectively.

For example, if someone is critiquing a painting that you have done, remember that they are not insulting you as an artist they are simply pointing out the flaws of the painting itself.

Understand the Criticism

The next step after you have overcome the urge to take the criticism personally is to understand what the person is trying to say. Perhaps they have a valuable point that you can take into consideration, which will help you do better next time.

If you don’t understand why they are making the criticism, ask them for clarification. Ask them why they think the way they do, how they came up with that opinion, and if they have any suggests of what you could do differently. Whether you disagree with them or not, it’s important to understand first where the criticism is coming from.

Use it To Improve

The final step once you have understood what the other person is trying to say is to try to use the feedback you have received to improve. Keep it in mind next time that you do something and if you can change your behavior to get a better result, do so!

Now you are succeeding even more than before and you have discovered that criticism doesn’t have to hurt, and it can even help you do better at whatever goal you are trying to achieve.

Tips for Learning a New Language

Whether you want to go traveling, move abroad, or just impress your sexy foreign neighbor, learning a new language can be a very advantageous skill to have. Learning to speak another language is not only a great way to open up many more opportunities for yourself, it can also be a fun challenge.

However, learning to speak a new language can also be very intimidating and difficult. You will have to start right back at square one when it comes to communication, and it can be very humbling and frustrating to only have the conversation skills of a three year old. Memorizing vocabulary and learning grammar in a new language is not necessarily easy.

If your goal is to learn a new language, here are some helpful tips that will improve your learning experience and make it easier for you to reach your goal:

  • Study the language in small bursts each day. It is better to study for 30 minutes each day than for 3.5 hours in one day. This will make it easier to find time in your schedule to stick to your goal. Also, a 3.5 hour session is not as effective, as you will remember and retain more if you study in shorter and more frequent sessions.
  • Find a learning method that works for you. Everyone has a different learning style, so try many different classes, software, CDs, or other learning tools until you find the one that “clicks” for you.
  • Don’t be shy when speaking. A lot of the time we are hesitant to test out our foreign language because we are afraid we will sound stupid if we use incorrect grammar or forget a word. Don’t let this get in the way of practicing your language! You wouldn’t judge a non-native speaker if they made a mistake, would you? Anyone listening to you will give you the same patience and understanding, so give it a try!
  • Make learning a language fun! The learning process doesn’t have to be all study and no play, as there are many ways you can make language learning entertaining. You can watch foreign films, learn some jokes and songs, or read comics and cartoons in your target language.

Last but not least, don’t give up! The benefits of being able to communicate in another language are so rewarding that they are worth your hard work, so good luck!