Good Leaders Remember Names


“And when someone else speaks your name you feel pleased. You feel wanted. You feel there. Alive. Even if they’re saying your name with dislike, at least you know you’re you, that you exist.”

― Aidan Chambers

Two leaders are presenting at the meeting. Both wander around the meeting before hand making small talk. Both address the group and take questions. One responds to each person calling them by name. The other doesn’t.

Two fitness instructors present the identical class, although one takes the time to learn any new names at the beginning of the class, and uses the names throughout. The other does not.

One principal takes time to learn the names of each student as well as the parents who go with them. The other does not.

All recent real-life scenarios from my world this month. Which scenarios feel best to you?

And yet… I can’t tell you how many leaders I have heard laugh and say, “I’m just not good at remembering names,” as if this is as a permanent genetic condition.

Using a person’s name…

– demonstrates that you care
reinforces that they matter as an individual
– shows you are paying attention
makes them feel valued
enhances your credibility

If you wrestle with remembering names, why not have this be the year you improve that aspect of your leadership?

Tips for Remembering People’s Names:

Read the tips here:


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