Etiquette Tip of the Week
Some people think name recall is something you are born with. You either have it or you don't. Not true! Name recall is a life-long practice. Anyone can become skilled at name recall, it just takes a little effort.
When you collect business cards at an event -- look at each card after the event and try to picture the person. Don't just do it once, do it a few times a week or before your next event.
A great place to practice name recall is on your LinkedIn account. Cover up the names of your LinkedIn "Connections" and try to identify each person by his/her picture. Next, try covering the pictures and visualizing the person that goes with each name.
When you invite someone to connect on LinkedIn, don't just send the generic invite. ("I'd like to connect with you on LinkedIn." The other person may be thinking, "Who are you?")
In your invite, introduce yourself, whether you have met before and why you want to be connected. (Hopefully, it's not just to reach 500+ Connections.)
We met at the Chamber of Commerce event...
We have a mutual friend in Mark Harris...
I noticed you are also in LinkedIn's Association of MBAs group and thought you might be a good person to connect with...
If you do forget someone's name, don't say, "I'm sorry, I forgot your name." (That's a little on the chilly side.)
A nicer way is to say, "Please tell me your name again."
-From the Culture and Manners Institute