So I ordered a doppio at the local Starbucks and the barista asked my name. “We’re trying something new,” she said. “We’re asking people their names.”

“Edward,” I said. (When in Rome, right?)

“Edward!” the barista repeated with zest.

I felt instantly welcomed.

It’s probably in Dale Carnegie’s classic, but its a known law of the universe that everyone loves the sound of their own name. It’s true. Using someone’s name gets their attention. It makes them feel warm and happy.

But many people don’t appear to make an effort to remember names. (Why bother, when you can just use “Dude.”) Some people even wear this trait as a badge of honor. “You know, I’m just not good at remembering names.” Well you should get good at it. It’s a handy little trick that doesn’t cost anything and it sets you apart.

When someone tells you their name pay attention and then repeat it back to them. And if it’s an out-of-the-ordinary moniker, make a confident effort, “That’s ‘Ag-a-mem-non’ you say? Nice to meet you!” They’ll be impressed that you are interested in trying to pronounce what they likely know is an uncommon name.

We’ll see if the barista remembers mine tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “Names

  1. Jon Carnahan

    Great post. Another tip, if you miss a name don’t be bashful to go back and ask again, people understand. JC

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