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Jul 01 2019
Everybody Has A Name
ReBecca Poulsen, CCE, Kimball Equipment Company


Has a name

Some are different

Some the same

Some are short

Some are long

All are right

None are wrong

I like my name

It's special to me

It's exactly who

I want to be!

-author unknown

In the 1980's t.v. series, Cheers, the show starts out with the theme song singing,

            "Wouldn't you like to get away?

            Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name,

            And they're always glad you came.

            You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same.

            You wanna be where everybody knows your name."
- Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo

On most of the episodes, right after the theme song played, one of the characters would enter the bar and everyone would call out that person's name. "Hi Norm" (or whomever just entered). Hearing our name makes us feel more valued, respected and cared about. This is why we enjoy going home to family and friends who know us and call us by our name.

Many years ago, I went to the bank to deposit a check. The bank teller addressed me by name and asked if there was anything else they could help me with. I remember that incident and how it made me feel that the teller took the time to read my name on the check and call me by my name. Since then, I've tried to remember to address people who are serving me by their name. I will follow with a thank you, have a nice day or whatever seems appropriate for the situation. Usually the person is caught off guard and then smiles. Being addressed by our name leaves a positive and lasting impression.

Using someone's name in a conversation provides a powerful association for them to remember you by, it gets their attention, they will listen closer to what you are saying and it makes you seem more caring. It also makes them feel important.

Now admittedly, I'm bad at remembering names. I've even found my mind going completely blank when telling a story about someone and cannot remember that person's name. There are some tactics that can be used to help us remember a name. When you are introduced to someone, silently repeat their name 3 times and create a mental picture of something that reminds you of them. The picture does not have to be something associated with them, but something that helps you remember them. I've even used something as simple as, "Sally looks like a schoolteacher." Always end your conversation with this person by saying their name.

Often in our accounting positions our interactions with customers are through phone or email. This does not mean that we do not need to remember someone's name or use it in our conversation with them. When you are talking to someone on the phone, remember their name when they say it. I will typically write it down. Then when your conversation is over with, repeat their name and let them know you will follow up, take care of whatever they need, etc. If you are emailing, address them by name. If they have emailed you before and you see that they spell their name differently, take note of that and be sure to spell it correctly in future emails to them.

In short, people just wanted to be treated with respect and saying their name is the best way to do that.