Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Power of a Name

It is given at birth and typically carried around like a proud personal banner throughout our lives. Men and women pay millions of dollars to see it lavishly displayed on hospital walls or the doorways and park benches of cities. Speak it and you will create the sweetest musical note to the recipient. I speak of the extraordinary power of a person’s NAME.

Part of maximizing YOUR life will inevitably be about enriching the lives of others. When you enrich the lives of others with love and care, you begin to build a network of individuals who will befriend you, love you, and can even bring you an abundance of wealth. I have been the type of person that is “bad with names.” I would meet someone and instantly forget his or her name. At times this habit could be down right embarrassing. I recall being in a situation in which I had to repeatedly call on a customer I was doing a large amount of business with and not being able to remember her name. Each time I would call her on the phone I would once again introduce myself instead of being able to reach out to her and make that vital personal connection. The sale was nearly lost, when the customer eventually said those terrible words we have all heard before, “do you even remember my name?”

Classical theories on motivation have shown that after basic survival needs have been met, one of the greatest human motivators is the need for recognition. People want to feel IMPORTANT! Imagine the network of people you could build if you were able to put your own ego on check and tap into this amazing principle of human behavior. Although not necessarily easy, one of the simplest ways of making people feel important is calling them by their name. To be a great leader, follow the example of great leaders before you like Theodore Roosevelt. His ability to remember names left a lasting impression on an entire nation.

The reason why many of us fail to capture another’s name is that we are very caught up in our own self-consciousness. The ability to comprehend what another individual holds important is an asset of unspeakable value. Here are a few tips to help you recall another’s name.

1. Associate the name with the face. Many of us are able to recall a face, but have trouble putting a name to it. Consciously associate a person’s name to their face, the minute you are introduced.

2. Repeat the name in the conversation. Here is an example. “Great to meet you Bob, what is it that you do Bob?” That may be a little obvious, but people generally don’t notice (they like hearing their name). Here is another example if that is too obvious, “Great to meet you Bob, what is it that you do?” Bob- “Oh, I am an arms dealer.” You – “Oh that’s great Bob, how did you get into that?”

3. Give your full attention to the person. Would you agree with me, that knowing a great amount of people would be a valuable asset? Imagine each person you meet as a possible asset for building wealth (monetary or otherwise) in your life. I realize this next technique may seem a little impersonal, but think of it as a game. If you could know x amount of people by first name, how much would that be worth to you? Imagine each person you meet and remember their name and face is worth five dollars to you. While this may seem ridiculous there is a monetary and social value to every person you meet.


Bob Johnson said...

Lol, arms dealer, love it, thanks for the tips, I am the worst at remembering names, and I meet a lot of people everyday, makes a huge difference when people use my name.

Sherer said...

"bob" is in no way a reference to you my friend. Thanks for the comment

Josiah said...

wow love your post... i was embarrassed many times because I can't remember names.. thanks for posting this.

Sherer said...

Joisah, thanks for you comments. I think its very easy for all of us to forget peoples names. However, the effect of making an effort to recall them, can really make a big difference.

J Sherer said...

Excellent post, brother. It added value. That's key.

Sherer said...

Yes indeed J. Adding value is a good way to put it. When you consider the word value it echos deeply beyond financial and material things, and into ideals. Thanks