A name is not just a bunch of letters by which we are known but rather a sense of identity, a symbol of our lineage and the mark of our being. Our name is the most important word in our vocabulary, we hate it when it is misspelled, mispronounce or even worst forgotten! It’s so important to us, that most of the time we just share it without even been asked.
A person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and individuality. Some might say it is the most important word in the world to that person. When we address people by their names we recognize them for who they are and what they stand for. They are recognized as unique individuals that have their own sense of dignity apart from the crowds. Remembering a person’s name is one of the most crucial things in personal and business relationships.
We feel more valued and respected when someone remembers our name. We feel more engaged in a conversation when someone uses our name. “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language,” writes Dale Carnegie in his classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Remembering someone’s name is the one way we can easily get someone’s attention. It is a sign of courtesy and a way of recognizing them. When someone remembers our name after meeting us, we feel respected and more important. It makes a positive and lasting impression on us.
When you use someone’s name, it shows you see that person as an individual. When you remember it, it shows your interest in and respect for that individual. In business, knowing someone’s name can make a difference in how that person feels about you and your brand. The trouble is most of us have trouble remembering the names of people we don’t know well, and we panic. Sometimes we may even avoid someone whose name we don’t remember in order to to avoid embarrassment.
In Dale Carnegie’s timeless book How to Win Friends and Influence People he wrote, “If you want to win friends, make it a point to remember them. If you remember my name, you pay me a subtle compliment; you indicate that I have made an impression on you. Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance.”
To remember a name, it helps to learn a bit about the person. When you meet a new business acquaintance, make eye contact and offer your hand. If you didn’t hear the person’s name or it wasn’t said, ask for it. Then use it immediately. “Hello, Jake. It is nice to meet you.” Smile at the other person and give him your full attention. Make it a priority to remember people’s names. The only way you will be consistent is if remembering people’s names is important to you.
If you don’t understand the pronunciation of someone’s name, kindly ask the person to repeat it. If you still don’t understand, ask how it is spelled and then try to say it. People with hard to pronounce names are accustomed to people mispronouncing them and will appreciate those who show an interest in getting it right. Start today to be intentional about remembering people’s names.