If you ask people to make a list of the words they like to hear the most, and if they are honest, at the top of the list will be their name. People love to hear their name.
Around 10 years ago, I read an article about a very successful cross country coach. When asked the secrets to his success, he mentioned a few different things but one of the big things he mentioned was how he made sure to call every person on his team by their name each day in training. When I read that I thought “that isn’t a big deal, I’m sure I do that when I’m coaching soccer”. Then I started to pay attention and noticed that I was using the star players names every day. I was also calling the “trouble makers” by their name every day. However, I wasn’t calling the rest of the players by their names.
It’s so easy to take people for granted and just assume they are going to continue to do their job each day and not give them the recognition they need and deserve. When I realized I wasn’t giving proper recognition to all of the players on the teams I was coaching, I started to make a conscious effort to call each player by their name each day and also to make some form of personal contact. It could be by providing a coaching tip or simply saying hello and asking them how they were doing.
How many opportunities do you have to call someone by their name and choose not to? It can be something as simple as instead of saying “hello how are you doing?” saying “hello Chris, how are you doing?”
A good example of this being done well would be a hotel I stayed at a year ago. I took a cab to the hotel and there was a security gate at the front. They asked my name and I told them my name and that I was checking in to the hotel. When the cab pulled up to the front door, the doorman said “hello Mr,. Fine, how are you today?”. When I went to the front desk, before I could say anything, the lady said “hello Mr, Fine I hope your trip here was a good one…” I was well aware that the only reason they knew my name was because they were called by the security guard but it made a huge impression on me.
How many opportunities have you lost because you didn’t bother to call someone by their name? How many future opportunities will you lose?
Remember, people love to hear their name. Give them what they want (especially since it doesn’t cost you anything) and see how much more you can get back.
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Have a great day!