That’s not my name

As a kid in primary school, I stumbled upon a shocking discovery. The math seemed to add up and I wasn’t even stretching it. What was it, you ask? I had dissected my last name and had jotted down all the combinations with the consonants and syllables D, u, i/ij/y, v, e, (n), s, t, ei/eij/ij/ey/y, and n. I was able to write ‘Duyvesteijn’ in 30 different ways! I was dumbfounded.

Appearances of variations of my last name in Google Search [October 13, 2017]

Ever since I have been very alert as to in what form my last name appears. In e-mail salutations, in others’ phone contacts lists or on contracts I sign, the slightest shiver will run top-down when I see a variation of my surname. It just doesn’t look right. It’s hard not to notice it and to shrug it off.

Sounds familiar?

It wasn’t until I started reading ‘How to win friends and influence people’ this summer that I got reminded of this phenomenon again.

“Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

So if my name is germane to me…then so must other people’s name be germane to them!

It sounds self-evident, but are you actively aware of this? Do you double check on the correct spelling of a client’s name in a proposal you are about to send out?

It works like magic

The author of the book, Dale Carnegie, poses that remembering a name works like magic. Not only in the written form but maybe even more so verbally.

Think about it. How do you feel if somebody tells you he/she has forgotten your name? Do you hear nails screeching the chalkboard if someone mispronounces what is most dear to you?

On the flip side, if you do decide to go the extra mile and make the effort to remember one’s name, it will provide validation to the other. It will prove that you see him/her as an individual who matters and whom you value. It affirms their worth!

This and other social cardinal rules…from 1936

Besides the aforementioned principle, ‘How to win friends and influence people’ is scattered with pearls of wisdom that will turn you into a gregarious person. To name a few: Smile, never say “you’re wrong”, and don’t criticize, condemn, or complain. It’s all expatiated in an actual page turner and the most fascinating is this: the book was first published in 1936.

It is also a must-read for anybody who is looking to become a better negotiator or refine their subtle nudges. I frequently refer to HTWFAIP when I need to persuade without lawyering up. I challenge you to do the same.

P.s. Micheal, Maikel or Michel? That’s not my name