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If you routinely fail to remember the name of new people you meet, Toronto consultant Bob Gray offers five rules to help you on

Hear the name - really listen for it. That sounds obvious, but he notes too often we're thinking of other things in conversation and fail to focus during the introduction.

Spell the name out. It doesn't matter whether you are spelling it correctly or not. "The conscious act of spelling it forces you to hear it," he says.

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Comment on the name. If it's an unusual name, make a remark, perhaps asking for its derivation or how to spell it.

Use the name during the conversation. But not seven times, as is sometimes suggested, since that will be awkward. Once or twice will do.

Use the name when concluding the conversation.

And a mea culpa: Speaking of remembering names, I ddn't when I referred to consultant Wally Bock in last week's column as Wally Cox.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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