089: N is for Names [ABC’s of EYB]
Want to make a big impact on people in your organization today?
Learn and use their names when you interact with them. It’s that simple.
I don’t know all the brain or scientific mumbo jumbo involved with this, but there is a power in having someone use your name when they talk to you, especially if you don’t know them well.
You and I could be talking and you could have used 27 words in your last two sentences, all of which might have had value. But if one of those was my name, you can bet that my attention would have been tuned in and I would have been drawn in.
I know if this isn’t your custom then it might seem a little awkward at first. You don’t want to forcing their name into your interaction, but I’m pretty sure if you’re trying to do it because you care about them you won’t miss.
It’s the difference between “hey, nice work!” and “hey, nice work Sheila!”. Doesn’t sound much different but the addition of the name adds a lot of meaning to the receiver of the message.
I’ll admit, I’m naturally horrible with names. It’s a short term memory thing. Tell me your name and I’ll forget it 30 seconds later. I’ve worked on different techniques to lock it into my memory like using it right afterward but still struggle sometimes.
My goal, though, is always to learn names, especially of new people at work or church or playing basketball. To me, maybe it’s because I know that they are a unique person who has meaning and purpose and learning and using their name is a way to convey to them in some small way that they matter, that they’re not just some random being.
I’ve found this to be really true for me if I’ve been having a rough day and someone encourages me and uses my name. It has a way of reaching across the space and connecting with me in a meaningful way that lets me know I matter.
I’ve also seen this in a huge way when someone like the CEO of a company goes out of their way to try to learn the names of people in the organization that he or she may never normally meet. But to then see them meet them and use their name in a genuine way when they greet them. It’s really powerful and a great way to value people and make them feel part of something.
So, try it out today. In a non-weird way. Just look for ways to naturally use names at work or at the grocery or when you go out to eat, with a waiter or waitress.
Names make a difference.
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