Make Yourself Memorable


Make Yourself Memorable
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We’re tired from spending many grueling months dealing with the COVID-19 virus and its several variants, and we’re not too sure at this point what the future might hold. But we must go on anyway; that we know. 

So now that you are outside your cave and dealing with real people in person again, let’s review an area in which you might have gotten a little rusty during the sequestered lockdown.

The best way to convince other people—peers and bosses alike—that you are a memorable person is for you to show a genuine interest in them. Do not waste your time and theirs by telling them how capable and experienced you are; they don’t want to hear it. If you’ve really got what it takes, your ability will become evident through your actions. 

Develop the habit of giving those with whom you’re engaged your undivided attention. Encourage them to talk about themselves, listen to them carefully, then give them positive feedback.

In my formative years, I was lucky to have encountered an expert—although he didn’t know it—at this kind of interchange. Tom was a little older than me and a pre-med student. He seldom talked about himself, but he seemed to have an uncanny gift for bringing out the thoughts and ambitions of others in his personal conversations with them.

Being new to the college environment, I was not particularly effective in trying to introduce myself to others. It didn’t take long to realize that Tom’s softer approach might be better than the one-sided one that I had been using. I tried to make future conversations with others 90% about them and less about me. It became more important to understand where others were coming from and what they wanted, and to remember any biographical details that were shared. The results were rewarding, to say the least. 

Morey Stettner observed in a recent Investors Business Daily article that “the larger goal when socializing in a crowd is to stand out in a positive way. Your job is to make yourself memorable.” 

Later, when I became active in the business world, I observed another memorable person who got results with a different approach at meetings and conventions. 

Instead of circulating around the room glad-handing and loudly calling everyone “Buddy” while looking over his victims’ shoulders in hopes of spotting someone more important, Jim simply stationed himself near the door and talked quietly to everyone as they came in and left. People liked him for that. His good manners, sincerity and personal interest in them was a welcome relief, and people wanted to do business with him.

As Carol Fleming, a San Francisco communication coach, points out: “Be memorable, listen and remember what you hear. Imagine you’re holding a flashlight and turning it on to the other person, not shining it on you.”  

What you learn from those encounters will be surprisingly helpful to you in the future.  

Jack Goodhue, management coach, can be reached at

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