Those that know me also know one of my favorite sayings:
“There is nothing so sweet as the sound of one’s own voice.”
I am not the originator of this saying, but most certainly I have been known to get carried away in presentations and conversations on topics I am passionate about.
But, this saying is not quite true. There is one sound that is even sweeter than hearing your own voice, and that is…
…the sound of another person speaking your name.
Whether it is in casual conversation or a formal business meeting, greeting another person by their name is a simple and effective acknowledgement of respect and makes the interaction much more personal. Sadly, in the hustle of of our world, we all to often ignore this simple tool that always pays dividends. As a result, our interactions with co-workers, clients, and even our friends and loved ones become transactions, essentially exchanges of information as if we were simply components of a machine accepting inputs for processing and giving outputs to move on to the next step.
The power of using a person’s name in conversation is great, particularly with more casual acquaintances. My father was a master at this, almost to a fault. I watched him as he dealt with many people who were not naturally, let’s say, pleasant individuals, and within a short time be able to work with them in a positive manner.
Of course, he was also known to take a person’s name and break out into song, but that’s a story for another day!
Try it for a week. In your cube or on your monitor, pin up a note “C.M.B.N”, short for “Call Me By Name” to remind yourself. Make a conscious effort to address others. The coffee shop server, the security guard at the office building, colleagues you don’t work with but see in the hall every day.
A simple “Good morning, Bob” or “Thank you, Sue” will go a long way in the quality of your interactions, and thus your relationships.
And, you will make a positive impact on your world.