Have you ever been in a situation where you are introduced to another and yet two minutes later you couldn’t recall their name? Yeah; this happens to me a lot more than I am willing to admit. I wonder how it makes that person feel, knowing I didn’t take note of it. Perhaps it’s time I learned the power in using someone’s name.
We are sensitive creatures, aren’t we? Our names are important to us and we like people to remember our names. Young people often dream of their name being in bright lights with tons of adoring fans screaming it at the top of their lungs. Essentially, what are they really looking for? Is their name really that important? Honestly, I believe what they are truly seeking is to be noticed; to know that someone paid attention to them. If we are truthful with ourselves, don’t we all want that?
I remember listening to a particular TED Talk which discussed just this topic. The presenter was outlining not only the power in someone using your name, but the power in using theirs.
Lately, I have made a point of practicing this. When meeting someone new, I purposefully use their name and address them. When I speak to a customer service representative, I use their name and act personable. While serving in ministry, I take note of who I am serving with and address them properly. You know what? It’s true! I have experienced firsthand how people react to their names being used; it’s powerful stuff.
You’d be shocked at how surprised people are when you actually take the time to use their name, especially when dealing with those in our service. How often do we use the name of the person helping us? Do we address the girl at the service desk by name or as a nameless face, merely here to meet our needs? It takes them by surprise when we take that brief moment to observe their name tags and use their names, treating them like human beings and not machines.
While I did this primarily for me – thinking this an important habit to make – my children have begun to take notice. They see me making a point to pay attention, be observant, and use people’s names. They see how important it is to me and how other people react to their name being used. My children are learning to treat people with respect and dignity, no matter who they are. Prayerfully, what they are seeing will set a good example and they will take to heart my actions.
I’ve heard it said that if you are introduced to someone new, it’s a good idea to say that person’s name several times during your brief conversation. “It’s nice to meet you, —!” “What do you think about this, —-?” By using their name a few times, you increase the likelihood of remembering it. I think I’ll give it a try; it’s worth a shot!
Time to Chime In: Do you have a hard time remembering people’s names? Share your tricks, tips, and thoughts on this topic!