Thursday 16 August 2018

Say my name

A name is powerful. It's part of our identity, it makes us feel recognized, and knowing other people's names makes us feel more comfortable in their presence. If you've ever been in a trauma room with a dozen nurses, doctors, paramedics, respiratory therapists, x-ray techs, and a bunch of others and you try to coordinate who is doing what, you know that it's exceedingly difficult to do that when you don't know people's names. Trust me, I speak from experience.

I've made a conscious effort all week to learn as many names as possible, and it's paying off: I feel like I belong here! It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when the nurse B. calls out "Good morning Miriam!", when the new maintenance guy G. stops by my window for a chat, and when the doctor asks me for my input.
Many of you probably already know the importance of using another person's name and you don't need me to tell you.
I, on the other hand, didn't, and in my former job (where I worked for over 7 years!) I barely knew a single name outside my own department for the entire time I was there.

Before I left, I picked up a trick from a former co-worker. Whenever he picked up the phone and called someone, he would ask: "Who am I speaking to?", and then he would use the name at least once during the conversation. He also introduced himself to people he encountered in person and got their names, and he would do the same: use their name at least once while talking to them. He explained that it was easiest for him to remember them that way.

Ever since that time I've been using his technique, and it really works! You can truly learn something from every person you meet.
The nifty thing is that it works both ways. The warm fuzzy feeling I get when someone who was a stranger just yesterday calls me by my name? The person I call by their name gets the same feeling.
A lady I only met last Thursday came up to me yesterday and offered me her guestroom, should I ever need a place to stay. How sweet is that? We've only seen each other twice and only exchanged a few words - but I tell you man, the power of using another person's name is real.

It's my last day today (I'm leaving bright and early tomorrow morning at 7:30), but despite the long hours being by myself after work? This might just work out.
It's been a long, but good week!

Tomorrow is Friday, loves!
xoxo Miriam 



  1. This is community, we meet, by knowing and using our names, we are no longer strangers. By kindness and generosity ties are formed that can be deep and lasting. In small towns this principle works well still and I really hope it always will. It is what makes life beautiful

    1. I couldn't agree more. That's the Canada I fell in love with 16 years ago at your place, and I can't tell you how happy I am that I'm now living in it.
      The years in Langley were good, but we didn't have the community and sense of belonging there we have now. Small town Canada is beautiful! 🇨🇦

  2. I need to use that trick when learning new names. I am just the worst about it going in one ear and out the other!

    1. I hear ya! I used to be exactly the same. But repeating it once right away (and for me, writing it down as soon as possible) does the trick! It's made a huge difference.

  3. Yes! I'm a big believer in the power of names. Every time I'm on the phone with someone at work, I write their name down on a piece of paper so that I don't forget who I'm talking to. It's so helpful!

    1. Writing them down has been a game changer for me. I'm hopeless without it, but once I've seen a name written down, I can picture it whenever I see the person in front of me. It's like a magic trick, turning strangers into friends!


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