Monday, September 21, 2009

Who am I?

I am going back to my Dale Carnegie roots for this brief post about names.

In this age of avatars and screen names, knowing the names of the people you surround yourself with, or depend on in business, is absolutely critical. We often just don't give it enough thought or make it important to us. Here is what Dale said:
Remember that a persons name, to that person, is the sweetest more important sound in any language.
You know how when, in a crowded room, you can hear someone mention your name? It's because you are tuned to it. It is who you are. It is your identity.

During the course of a day or week, we get so busy that when we meet someone new, we make very little effort in learning their name. We are a visual people so we will often recognize their face a week later at the mall...but their name will escape us.

Here's how you can improve:

First, you need to realize and accept the importance of a persons name and commit to putting some effort into it. Without effort, you will not improve. You might as well issue name tags to all you speak with!

Once you have committed, here is what you do when faced with an introduction to a new person.

Stop. Whatever you are doing, it can wait. Put down the pencil, the Blackberry, the remote, the burger, and give your full attention.

Look and Listen. Make eye contact. Notice things about the person while repeating their name in your head--but not so much that you miss what they are saying!

Impression. We all have the ability to get a "first impression" or a "feel" for a person almost immediately.

Associate. Connect this person with something significant about them. Perhaps they are from a vendor--so connect them with their product. Perhaps they are a teacher--connect them with a subject, or a school.

Doing these things automatically increases your effort in remembering names...and will increase your success. Being able to address people that are still new to you by name will win you points as a leader!