Boyceville, Wisconsin – my hometown.
When my father was alive, I spent a weekend every month in Boyceville. Our Friday night ritual was to go for fish and chips at Buckshot’s Bar.
We’d order while we watched people come in and greet each other by name. They would ask about the family, comment on the weather, and speculate on the Packer’s chances of winning Sunday’s game.
Names have far more power than people imagine. Starting with our parents and siblings, our names became our identifier, the word people use when they want our attention. When someone says our name (even if they’re not talking to us), we turn toward them. It’s instinctual.
Have you noticed how often servers, customer service reps, even “cold callers” identify themselves with a name? It may not be their real name, but it makes a connection that implies more personal service. At lunch recently, a friend asked the server what her name was. “Bridget,” was the reply. My friend used Bridget’s name several times during our meal; each time Bridget seemed visibly pleased. The connection made the meal more enjoyable.
“Hey you” feels indifferent. Remembering and using people’s names shows respect and consideration. It makes others feel recognized and provides a positive and lasting impression.
At the end of the day, don’t we all want to go to a place where everybody knows your name?
The road is easier together,
Linda Laitala, President
Raven Performance Group
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