How Important is Your Name?

Jan 6, 2014 | Australian College


How many times have you been embarrassed by seeing someone on a street, at a restaurant, in a class, or elsewhere and been addressed by name… you flounder badly because you couldn’t remember the other person’s name? It feels like death from a thousand cuts!

So what’s in a name?
Dale Carnegie once wrote, that a “person’s name is to them the most important sound in any language”. It is the critical thing that differentiates a person from the other six billion people that inhabit our planet. It is a part of them. It gives them a unique recognition.

At the Academy Film Awards the recipient always recognizes the people who helped them achieve this award. The select group that is clearly identified almost feels as though they too have won the award. Andrew Carnegie was one of the richest men in US history and was known for his ability to remember names during his business transactions. Carnegie clinched many deals by promising to name the various businesses/ventures, buildings etc., after his benefactors or partners.

Think about the libraries and museums around us that are supported by people who want their names on the building or on some of its collections. They are almost immortalized for years to come, possibly after their death. Today, many sales deals are clinched simply because a salesperson has ingratiated themselves by remembering a potential customer’s name.

To be successful at any sales level a salesperson must sell themselves as well as the product and there is no more powerful start than by recognizing their potential customers by name. Customers generally make their mind up about doing business with someone within the first 1-2 minutes.

A waiter in a restaurant might receive better tips if he remembers the names of the regular patrons. In almost any occupation, the ability to remember names is of critical importance. Socially the ability to remember names is a great way to increase your circle of friends. You need to remember people that you have met and be able to recall what was discussed and then use it as a basis for a new conversation.

8 Tips for remembering some-ones name:

  1. Understand the importance of using another person’s name
  2. Be aware that the most common reason for not remembering names is actually very simple, not listening!
  3. Use repetition ““ “please to meet you Josh”, is that “short for Joshua”?
  4. Make associations ““ “Josh is tall”
  5. Associate the name with objects or animals ““ “Josh the Giraffe”
  6. Study the person’s face and/or other distinctive features ““ “Josh has curly hair”
  7. Put their name and number in your mobile phone
  8. Ask for the name again if you don’t hear it correctly the first time

Being recognized by name makes people feel special, communicates respect and creates a connection. So the message is to remember the names of people you meet at any level. It will open up new worlds of business success and popularity.

Dr Paul Batman
Australian College

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