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I’ve recently taken up yoga, and have been to an excellent beginner’s course. While changing in the dressing room, I idly read the notices advertising future sessions. To my surprise, last week I recognised one of the teachers’ names – a woman who came to a workshop I ran over a decade ago! So what, you may ask? What’s this got to do with a blog on professional networking? Let me explain.

When we discuss how (rather than why) to network, one of the topics we cover is the fine art of remembering people’s names. Some international students feel uncomfortable with the fact that people sometimes have difficulty pronouncing, let alone remembering, their name.

I try to persuade them otherwise. Firstly, I remind them that an ‘unusual’ name (that is, unusual for the UK, though often fairly commonplace elsewhere in the world) is, at the very least, memorable. Years ago, when I was asked to revitalise the Dorling Kindersley brand, I remember a long drawn out struggle with the ‘simplifiers’, who wanted to shorten the brand to ‘DK’. Easy to pronounce….but totally unmemorable. In contrast, although many people got the Dorling Kindersley name wrong (the funniest I remember was Darling Kindergarten!), few forgot it completely. And in bookstores, every assistant immediately knew who custgomers were referring to. I won the argument at the time, but I see (sadly) that they have now reverted to DK. I wonder…..

The same goes for people. Being memorable (for the right reasons, of course) can be a huge advantage. Back to the yoga studio – the name of the student was Harshini Wikramanayake – a long name, but most certainly memorable (and actually not at all difficult to pronounce if you break the syllables down).

So – there’s the connection between networking and yoga.

PS. If you want more information about Harshini’s teaching, go www.saneepa.com/