Sunday, May 18, 2008

Take the Time to Learn People's Names

On Friday, my wife and I attended an awards ceremony at my daughter's high school. The student presenter went through about a hundred names, and as far as I could tell she mispronounced only two. For one of those, she recognized the mistake and apologized as the student walked across the stage. I was impressed. That was a difficult task. I could not do nearly as well.

In contrast, I was at an employee meeting of a previous company. The head of HR had to give out about fifteen awards. He messed up the names of half the people. I imagine them thinking, "Thanks for the recognition, but could you just learn who I am?"

It is easier to get people to follow you if they know you care about them. If you can't be bothered to learn the names of the people on your team, they can be certain you don't care much for them.

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