The most challenging group fitness skill ever: can you remember a name?
Do you use this excuse often? ‘I can never remember people’s names’.
It is understandable in most situations. Remembering 10 to 50 people’s names would be difficult. But when participants have been attending your class for over 12 months, this is unacceptable. Worse yet, when the participant has been an active attendee for several years. Yep, it really is a poor excuse.
Something that really changed my perspective on this and maybe it will for you too comes from the goodmenproject.com:
The first time you meet someone and ask their name it’s a test. When given a person’s name they have given you permission to think of them as an individual, as someone different from a random stranger.
Their test is this – are they special enough to remember the next time you meet them. When you say someone’s name the next time you greet them you have told that person they were important enough to remember, they were special enough for you to take note of them.
I can almost guarantee you have just made an acquaintance with the possibility of a more meaningful relationship in the future, whether it be business, friendship or relationship.
Unless you act in a negative manner you will now always be associated in that persons memory as someone who took the time to remember who they were.
3 years ago I made it a New Year’s resolution and I have stuck to it.
There is only one class each week that I struggle a bit, but then I know I haven’t really made an effort. I know about 30% of the names and have decided that I need to buckle down and do it. For all the other 14 classes I teach, I remember everyone’s name and when someone new comes in, I ask what their name is. I go up, shake their hand, introduce myself and ask for their name. Then I welcome them to the class and mention their name at least 3 more times to remember. During the workout, I find a way to say everyone’s name at least once, to congratulate them on what they are doing well. I literally wait to catch them doing something with great form or enthusiasm to offer praise. Really different from how I used to teach, which was all about correction to the whole class hoping that the one person that I really intended the information for, would get it. Now I can simply say ‘Jo, just lift up the Gymstick a little higher, that’s it. Great’. No sandwich technique, just honest feedback given without any other intention other than to help out.
We all comment on how we can improve, but what efforts do we really go to to try? Come on, tackle the hardest thing first!