Friday, April 24, 2015

What's My Name?

We're all self-centered.  It is our nature.  A group picture is taken and when we view it, who's the first person we look for?  Ourselves, of course.  We're in a group setting and everyone is talking and hanging out, we hear our name across the room and we forget the conversation we were in and listen to the one across the room where our name was mentioned.  What's the most important sound in any language?  I'd venture to say this: our own name.  When we hear our name, even as a young child, we tune in.  We want to be recognized and appreciated by name.

Then there's the other side of that: I'm just bad with names. We've all heard people say that phrase. It's selfishness, really.  It says we don't care enough about a person to remember the most important sound in the world to them.  I used to say I was bad with names...until I decided to be good with names.  Have you ever encountered someone that you recently met and you remembered their name? They're surprised aren't they?  Most people don't make the effort to remember names.  It conveys that you care about them as a human being enough to remember the most important sound in the world to them.  Our name is our identity, our reputation.  If your name is tarnished, it's almost impossible to recover it.  Our name is very personally and completely ours.

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I posted a couple weeks ago a list of some of my favorite books.  On that book was a classic that is completely under utilized these days: How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  People Skills 101, it could be called.  Mr. Carnegie talks about this.  It's just basic courtesy to remember people's names.  It's okay to mess up, too.  ( yourself grace.  Seems like we've talked about that before.) We're all going to forget sometimes.  It just happens, but ask forgiveness and just ask again what their name is.

"Forgive me.  I've misplaced your name.  Tell me again." And then remember it the next time.  It's pretty simple.  There are all sorts of tricks to remembering names.  I'll let you google that on your own and decide which ones work best for you.  And one more tip when you remember someone's name: pronounce it correctly.  My name is Jennille.  It's pronounced Jen-EEL.  Thank you, mom, for not spelling it phonetically.  Rarely does anyone pronounce it correctly.  It's not their fault and I don't get mad at them.  Just remember it right, please.  People skills 101.  When people feel valued, they will come back to you again and again to do business with you, and oftentimes they become friends.  You've made them feel good.  I bet Jesus remembered people's names when he walked on this earth.  I know He had the whole God thing going on, but I bet He said people's names as He talked to them.

I'll get off my soapbox now.  What's one little thing that you have found to make a big difference in your interactions with people?  Comment below.

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