What's in a Name?

Like many blokes, I’m not a great gift shopper.

I love giving gifts, but usually end up stuck for ideas and find the process of shopping time consuming and frustrating. Particularly when it comes to jewellery.

So when the time came to buy Karin a gift for our 5th Wedding Anniversary (this story's now 19 years old) I visited the jewellery shop where we'd bought our wedding rings.

Imagine my surprise when the owner greeted me by name, despite not setting eyes on me since that single transaction 5 years before. 

There's no way I was leaving his shop without making a purchase.

Many years later I met him at a party, told him what an impression that had made, and asked how he’d done it. He said that he'd consciously trained himself to pay attention when meeting people because he had been “bad with names”. He would give full attention when meeting anyone and found this caused the name to stick.

He believes that practice has made a strong contribution to the success of his business.

The social cost of forgetting a name you should know may be minor; ranging from slightly awkward to quite embarrassing.

But don’t underestimate the difference this can make at work.

Customer and supplier loyalty, employee engagement, the respect of your colleagues, and ultimately even the bottom line can all improve when you remember people's names.

The next time you’re introduced to someone, pay full attention to his or her name. It won’t cost you anything – and you never know how or when it will pay you back.