What’s the quickest way to build rapport with someone? Use their name when speaking to them.

As simple as it may sound, it's a task that often gets undermined by forgetfulness. Why people forget names is the subject of much discussion, why they have difficulty remembering them is another.

The truth is that most people are preoccupied with their own thoughts, judgments, insecurities, self-perceptions, and self-interests to free up the mental space that's necessary to have a name stick. Add to that the concern with remembering a person's name, and it's almost certain to be forgotten.

People who are socially adept are accustomed to remembering names because they have more practice. Studies show that they also have more genuine interest in other people.

While many books and articles will stress the importance of developing mnemonic devices and techniques such as name association (associating the person you met with something you will readily remember, or something that rhymes with their name), very few emphasize being genuinely interested in other people, which is, after all, more difficult to do than mastering any technique.

Some people say that they are "bad with names" and boldly issue this disclaimer during conversations. What does that say about them? It says that they are comfortable with a weakness, and/or they lack the willingness to overcome it.

Having a bad memory, and being bad with names are not the same thing. Most people can't remember historical dates, birthdays, and passwords, but they are more likely to remember names because of use and repetition.

When you meet someone, put their name to use immediately, for example: "It is a pleasure to meet you, Michelle". By placing Michelle's name at the end of the sentence, you isolate it, which can help in remembering it since it was the last thing that was said. Then use it during conversation. If you forget their name, ask them to repeat it, and address them by it.

Unusual or exotic names can be remembered by asking the person about the origin of their name, its meaning, or the story behind how they got their name. This is also a great way to break the ice and build rapport because it expresses genuine interest.

When you are addressed by your name, your attention is called to what is being said, or who is saying it. Marketers learned that they could be more effective by personalizing their messages. When junk mail has your name on it, and emails are addressed to you, you are more likely to pay attention to them.

The same is true when you deal with people. Using their name directs their attention and helps them to focus. It also provides those who recall, and frequently use names, with social benefits that others may find elusive.

It's the mere act of remembering and using a person's name that scores points with them. The fact that you care enough to remember shows that you have people skills and emotional intelligence, which are both factors in building strong relationships.

Conversely, those who don't address others by name - especially when they themselves are referenced by name - come off as being aloof, or uncaring. Not reciprocating such social amenities often deprives you of social benefits. It's also impolite.

Once you connect with others by using their names, you will find that you the quality of service you receive improves, preferential treatment is granted, enthusiasm about seeing you increases, and rapport is transformed into relationships.

All of these social benefits from simply remembering, and using a person's name.

Author's Bio: 

Gian Fiero is a recognized Growth Expert.