How To Be a Bartender That Rocks pt. 2
This is part 2 of our “How To Be a Bartender That Rocks” series of articles. In part 1 we talked about the importance of becoming a likeable bartender and the need to avoid Conversational Narcissism.
In part 2 we’ll continue to focus on increasing your conversational skills in order to be a more likeable bartender. If you don’t have any trouble remembering people’s names you can probably skip this article. If on the other hand you’re like most people, read on.
The Importance of Remembering Names: and how to do it
It’s so simple but yet so many of us can’t do it. Why is it so difficult for us to remember a person’s name two seconds after they told us? The answer is this- We are too tied up with ourselves and worried about how we’re appearing to the other person.
We’re too concerned about what to say next and not concerned about the moment. It’s this concern and worry that leads our minds wondering during that one crucial second when someone tells you their name.
Most people don’t find others interesting or important enough to remember their names. It’s your job not to be like most people. As a socially adapt bartender your job is to make others (especially your regulars) feel important and worth remembering.
Let’s look at how you can improve your ability to recall names. The first rule, and easily the most important, is you must stay in the moment and consciously try to hear the name. Instead of thinking about what to say next, or worrying about having too much lint on your clothing make a conscious concerted effort to LISTEN to their name.
If you have trouble keeping your mind from wondering try tying your desired mental state to a physical action. Sound strange? Don’t worry it’s not. Lets explain.
This can be done through a process called mental anchoring. Basically this mental trick works by creating a physical stimulus to create a specific mental response. The physical stimulus can be anything completely minute such as taking a deep breath, touching your index finger to your thumb, or pressing your toe against the ground.
So for example every time you meet someone you can press your index finger to your thumb when they say their name. This works because it’s a physical action that forces you to a present state of mind. Essentially the physical action acts as a reminder for your brain to stay alert.
Mental anchoring isn’t the only way to help you remember names. This might seem obvious but many of us don’t do it. Look at the person when they say their name! Too often we are looking away, at the ground, a clock, or our shirt covered in imaginary lint. Look at the person when they say their name. This, obviously, helps to put a name with a face.
The last rule really ties the whole process together. Say the person’s name back to them after they say it. When saying the customary “It’s nice to meet you” simply add their name to the statement. For example “It’s nice to meet you, John”.
Consciously listen to their name, look at their face, and repeat it and you should have no problem remembering. There’s a few other things you should do when learning names.
For one, if you didn’t catch someone’s name simply ask them. The sooner the better. It’s less awkward to ask someone to repeat their name right away rather than after a thirty minute conversation. Also, when dealing with foreign names try your absolute best to pronounce it right. Ask the person to repeat it several times if need be. Don’t worry it’s not rude and most likely they understand it’s difficult for most people to pronounce it.
As long as you’re showing a genuine interest in them and their name they’ll like you for it. Finally don’t ever say “Oh I could never pronounce that” That is rude and shows a complete lack of interest on your part. Not to mention its lazy. Do your absolute best to pronounce it and apologize if need be.
There you have it. Your crash course in remembering names. Learn how to be a bartender that remembers names and you’ll be one step closer to learning how to be a bartender that rocks.
Check out How to Be a Bartender That Rocks pt. 3