Do You Make The Effort To Remember Names?

by Kylie Doak on September 24, 2009

This seemingly minor detail can leave a lasting impression (both good and bad).

Today in the mail, amongst the junk mail, newspapers and some letters, I found an envelope addressed to my husband and I.

Straight up, it annoyed me that whoever sent this letter had spelled my husband’s first name incorrectly.  I put that annoyance aside and opened the letter, only to find that the enclosed invitation had his name spelled wrongly on it too!

How annoying!

They had obviously gone to a lot of trouble to use good quality paper, coloured print, different fonts, and yet they managed to spell my husband’s name wrong!   Plus, to add insult to injury, so to speak, the invitation was from someone who should have known better!

Even more annoying!

Call it petty if you like, but I have always believed that it is respectful to other people to spell their name correctly.

Of course we all make mistakes and obviously this person didn’t mean to spell my husband’s name incorrectly, however, they should have checked it before posting.

To further make my point, have you ever felt “extra special” when someone has personally addressed you, rather than using a one-size-fits-all greeting?

I have.

I can remember a few years back when I returned to a pharmacy that I hadn’t been to for a long time, and the girl who served me addressed me using my name.  I was both surprised and flattered that she’d even remembered seeing me, let alone remembered my name!

I made a point of telling her that too, and I could see that she felt good because I’d acknowledged what a nice thing she’d done, plus I specifically told her that I appreciated it.

And what pharmacy do you think I continued to go to after that?  That one or the one a few shops down the street?

That one, of course!

Not only did the girl make me feel appreciated on that particular day, I became a more regular customer from that point onwards.  Plus the customer service from all staff members there was excellent, therefore, I had no reason to not give them my business.

Now, I also realise that some people aren’t very good with remembering names face-to-face, however, you should at least make the effort to find out the person’s name and do your best to remember it, especially if it is someone who you are likely to come into contact with again.

Imagine what a good impression you would make by remembering their name!

There are many ways that you can remember names, including writing it down as soon as you get the chance, or noticing something about the person that rhymes with their name and using that to help you (just make sure you don’t tell them that!).

As we all know, there are countless variations on the spelling of many names, and mistakes will always made be, however, I believe it is even more important to make the effort to correctly spell those names that are a little different to  the norm.  Trust me – it will make that person’s day :)

I recently met a lady who has a very unusual spelling of her name.  Her name is a reasonably common one, however, I don’t think I could have guessed how to spell it in a million years!

I felt sorry for her.  Obviously her parents liked the name (and still do, no doubt), however, I’m sure they didn’t realise how annoying it would be for their daughter to have to spell her name for everyone her entire life!

This lady is resigned to the fact that most people get her name wrong and accepts it spelled other ways, however, that shouldn’t be the case.  I’m glad I made the effort that day to find out how to spell it her way because I could tell by her reaction that it really does matter to her (that and the fact that she told me she appreciated me asking!).

Imagine going through life having your name spelled the wrong way most of the time!

I’d hate that.

So to wrap this up, whether it’s in your personal life or business life, make the effort to spell peoples names the way they spell them.  Their name is important to them and it can make all the difference when you make the effort to get it right.

When you appreciate and respect other people, most people appreciate and respect you in return.

Who knows where that could lead … :)

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken Pickard January 6, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Kylie,

Great post on how the little bit of extra attention like remembering someones name has a lasting impression. I use a similar method on Facebook.

When someones takes the extra step and writes a note address to me in the friend request… well those are the ones I accept first. I then make a point to acknowledge that step and return the favor by commenting that step on their wall.

It’s the extra 15 to 20 seconds that can make or break a potential relationship.

Ken Pickard
The Network Dad

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Kylie January 7, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Hi Ken

Thanks for the nice comment!

Yes, I totally agree with you there about the friend requests with a personal message. The person has gone to the trouble of going that extra step and it really does make a difference, doesn’t it?

Plus, like you, I always leave a comment on their wall thanking them for adding me as a friend and sometimes asking them a question or commenting on something that I’ve noticed/read about them on their profile. It does go a long way :)

~ Kylie ~

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Darlene January 12, 2010 at 5:03 am

Kylie,

You are right on, my friend. A person’s name is of vital importance to them. It’s the little things that make a HUGE difference, right?

I try to do a name association when I meet someone, but it doesn’t always stick.

Again, it is just that EXTRA step!

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Kylie January 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Hi Darlene.

Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment :)

I totally agree with you – it’s the little things that usually make the biggest difference.

~ Kylie ~

PS: I’m only a little thing (nearly 4 ft 11 in) hoping to make a big difference in this world! lol

I’m on a mission :)

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Michaelé Harrington January 14, 2010 at 7:21 pm

You’ve raised so many fantastic points here Kylie.

It makes me think back to that tag line used in ‘Cheers’ the TV series “Everybody wants to go where somebody knows their name”.
After all isn’t that why we become a ‘regular’ at our favorite cafe… Because we love being greeted by name and having the person remember how we like our order.

I loved the point you raised on correct spelling, particularly for unusual names. I’ve lived with this most of my life having an unusual spelling like Michaelé which is pronounced Mikayla. VERY few people ever spell my name correctly and I can say from personal experience that the ones that do, immediately leave a lasting impression for me :)

Michaelé
P.S. The person that didn’t spell your husbands name correctly needs to read chapter 6 of ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People”.

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Kylie January 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Hi Michaele

Thanks for leaving such great feedback on my post – I can see that it has struck a chord with you! :)

I’d forgotten about the “Cheers” tagline until you’ve said it. How very true!

With regard to unusual names, I believe it’s even more important to make the effort to not only remember those names, but also to remember how to pronounce and spell them too … simply because the majority of people won’t bother to do that! (as you’ve obviously found).

I also have “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (it’s a terrific book, isn’t it?). More people should read it and put it into practice, don’t you think? But in saying that, it’s also very commonsense (to me, anyway).

I’m glad you enjoyed my post – stay tuned for more!

~ Kylie ~

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Darlene January 17, 2010 at 5:07 am

Kylie,

Phew! Could be an incredibly powerful tag line! I’ll be watching for the change.

My mother-in-law is 4’11″ and she says, “In my family we measure height from the neck up.”

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Kylie January 31, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Thanks Darlene. I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to incorporate it, but I definitely will :)

lol – I often say that “I’m too short for my weight” hehe

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Louise Radcliffe January 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Heya i got to your site by mistake when i was searching bing for something off topic here but i do have say your site is really helpful, like the theme and the content on here…so thanks for me procrastinating from my previous task, lol

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KylieDoak February 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Hi Louise

I’m glad I wasn’t such a bad distraction then! lol

I hope you continue to visit my blog and enjoy my posts :)

~ Kylie ~
.-= KylieDoak´s last blog ..Feeling Overwhelmed Happens to Everyone – Not Just You =-.

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Josiah Vitolo January 20, 2010 at 5:25 am

Thanks for this excellent write up. I surely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked and will be reading more.

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KylieDoak February 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Thanks, Josiah. I’m glad you enjoyed it and I hope you continue to enjoy my posts and get something from them.

~ Kylie ~

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Robin Brooks January 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Kylie you are so right here! I always feel impressed (kind of special) when someone I have perhaps once met address’ me by name. Admittedly I am not so very good at it myself, although I try. I love your writing style and the wonderful attention you give to the commenter. I will surely be back for more :)

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Kylie January 31, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Hi Robin

Thank you for the lovely comment! I really appreciate it! :)

I have plenty more blog posts in me yet (and many that need putting back on my blog), so I hope you continue to enjoy my writing – I love writing!

I’ll head over to you blog again too :)

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Heroine verslaving January 24, 2010 at 6:11 am

Interesting new post. Even better than your previous ones IMHO ;)

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Kylie February 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Hi Heroine

Thank you for your comment :)

~ Kylie ~

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KylieDoak February 7, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Thank you.
.-= KylieDoak´s last blog ..Feeling Overwhelmed Happens to Everyone – Not Just You =-.

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KylieDoak February 7, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Thank you, Ebonie. I’m glad you enjoyed it :)

~ Kylie ~
.-= KylieDoak´s last blog ..Feeling Overwhelmed Happens to Everyone – Not Just You =-.

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Mechelle Garcy February 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I’m more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out. Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll. This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information.. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post.

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KylieDoak February 7, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Thanks Mechelle.

I’m glad you enjoyed the post. At this point in time, I haven’t considered adding video to any of my posts. That is something that I may do later on, just for now though, I prefer to just write.

Tutorial posts are where I would be mostly likely to add video – then the viewer can see step by step what to do.

Until then, I hope that you continue to enjoy my work and visit my blog from time to time :)

~ Kylie ~
.-= KylieDoak´s last blog ..Feeling Overwhelmed Happens to Everyone – Not Just You =-.

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MySpace Adder February 1, 2010 at 6:39 pm

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Kylie February 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Thank you very much! And thank your girlfriend from me too please :)

I hope you continue to enjoy my posts as much as I love writing them.

~ Kylie ~

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Kylie February 3, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Thank you Joe (I assume, given your email address). I really appreciate your comment and hope that you will be back and continue to enjoy my articles :)

~ Kylie ~

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Kylie February 15, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Hi Joe

Thanks for the compliment :)

I’m pleased to see that you’ve returned to my blog. I hope you continue to enjoy what I write.

~ Kylie ~

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Linda G Cox July 24, 2010 at 10:57 am

Kylie~
I always enjoy reading your posts! When it comes to names you’d laugh at me! My grandma always did it, my mom followed and now I’m doing it too! When talking to our kids, we start at the top of the list and address them, some times passing the kid we’re talking to – something like, “ToniCoreyDaniBradyJaimi” then back to “Dani, did you…” or what ever! I will have complete conversations with a child, knowing perfectly well who I’m talking to, then call them the wrong name. If it were only my kids, that would be one thing, but it’s not. I do it with my friends too! It’s sort of a crack up, I don’t mean to! I’m doing the best that I can!
Love you!
~Linda

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Georgiana Ratulowski August 29, 2010 at 10:29 am

This is wonderful blog. I love it.

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Tim Ryan from golden gate estates September 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I am not good at remembering names but if I cannot remember your name I don`t let you know because I also do not like when people forget or do not remember my name. Great post I will make efforts to remember names even if it means writing them down.

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