As Dale Carnegie said-‘the sweetest sound to someone is the sound of their own name’ and often when we are networking, we are unconsciously self absorbed, so we don’t always remember our new contact’s name…. (it is human nature).
Now that the holiday season has officially begun, we are networking and meeting many people at this time of year and reconnecting with former acquaintances.
“May I have the spelling of your name” is a question that I frequently ask people and often–‘How do you pronounce your name?”
Often times I will receive strange looks—and my thought is that the other person is thinking, “Is she kidding? The spelling of my name is so obvious!’ And so is the pronunciation….(don’t be so sure) — I am “Andrea” and I know several people who spell their name exactly the same way, yet pronounce it in a variety of ways which is why I always take note and write it down.
Countless times I have been very proud that I always ask because I am often surprised.
A few examples I have encountered just in the last few months:
Ric- instead of Rick
Dian- instead of Diane
Garry- instead of Gary
Jeffry- instead of Jeffrey
And someone I have known for years- Scot–not Scott.
When I first met ‘Scot’- I commented in my follow-up email that I noticed how he spelled his name and he told me a story that has stayed with me on how his parents decided to spell his name with one T. He says that in the course of a day – he receives over 100 emails and still— over 60% want to spell his name with 2 T’s :–)
A few lessons for me on remembering and spelling someone’s name correctly:
*Think–when was the last time you received a letter or thank you note and your name on the envelope and greeting had a misspelling. We remember these things and again–it is all in the detail. I once received a nice note that I still have, yet in the salutation, it began, “Dear Angela”
*Take the time to ask—often you may be very surprised and my philosophy is better to ask and be right then not to ask and certainly be wrong! Recently I had the opportunity to talk with a potential client and although we spell our first names exactly the same way, she pronounces her name totally differently. Again–an “Aha” moment as I mentioned above.
*Really Listen with both ears when someone says their name– form an impression; repeat their name in the course of your conversation and if possible form an association to help remember. I still remember one of my mentors in the Dale Carnegie program- “Fred White, who had a full head of white hair”. It definitely helped me remember his name when we first met.
Simple tips- yet SO important. See how you do over the next few weeks as you are out and about.