Recently, I was asked how I learned to remember people's names so well. I never thought about it, but upon deeper reflection, it came down to one simple, and honest truth: I have a genuine interest in people.
Sure, with my background in psychology, and intuitive PR skills, I can offer many reasons why it benefits you to make an effort to become more adept at remembering - and using - someone's name, but the truth is that regardless of the PR/networking motivations you may consciously employ, nothing will enable to you develop the type of instant rapport that is conducive to building a real relationship, like taking a genuine interest in someone else.
Why people have difficulty remembering names is the topic of many articles which all, essentially, say the same things: most people don't remember names because they are too preoccupied with their own thoughts, judgments, insecurities, self-perceptions, and self-interests to free up the mental space that's necessary to have a name stick. Add to that the conscious concern with remembering a person's name, and it's almost certain to be forgotten.
Some solutions call for embracing techniques such as name association (associating the person you met with something you will readily remember, or something that rhymes with their name), very few emphasize being genuinely interested in other people, which is, after all, more difficult to do than mastering any technique.
Using someone's name = giving them personal attention.
Psychologist Cynthia Green offers tips on how to remember names.