On the floor in the building where I work, there are people in other departments I talk with but don’t know their names. Due to daily routines, paths are often crossed but names are not exchanged. After a while, it seems awkward to ask a person’s name. It’s backwards, getting to know a person and then sharing a formal introduction. It’s even more weird when the person knows my name and I don’t know his/hers!
I’ve noticed how some people make it a point to insert my name in their greeting when we pass in the hall, and it makes me feel good. There’s also the type who uses my name every third word in our conversations. That’s a little creepy, but I would like to find a balance and start using people’s names.
It doesn’t feel natural when I add a person’s name to a pass-by greeting. I’m afraid of calling someone the wrong name too! There’s probably a term for this fear, and I’m sure having it, I’m not in the minority.
My new habit for this week will be to use at least one person’s name each day, and discover the names of people I chat with in the break room.
If you are already a natural at using people’s names, is it something you started intentionally? If you don’t use people’s names, do you share my fear of using the wrong name?