Our good friend and fellow speaker and trainer Nelson Scott of GreatStaffRecognition.com had a fantastic article on the importance of managers asking new staff how they like to be addressed. I think you’ll find this tip holds true for any networking situation. It’s a great reminder of something we need to do to build rapport with others. Thank you Nelson for allowing us to reprint it here.

My new dentist asks a question that all managers should ask

Changing dentists recently required me to complete several forms. Along with requests for information about my dental and medical history, next of kin and of course, my insurance coverage, there was one inquiry that particularly stood out. At the top of the first page, right after the space for my name, there was a request that managers and supervisors should ask of new employees, but seldom do. It read: “Prefers to be called ___________.”

While most might have passed over this question without much thought, for some patients this may have been an important inquiry.

In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet says to Romeo,

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

As we know from our high school English class, there was much in a name in the Verona of William Shakespeare’s play. That is true of today’s workplaces, too. It was a truth the young lovers could not avoid, and it is a reality that today’s managers and supervisors should not ignore.

I have read and heard experts suggest that as many as 15 per cent of people are not known by the name by which they would prefer to be known.

Catherine is called Cathy, but would prefer to be called Catherine; Ernest prefers Ernest, not Ernie; and Beverly is OK with Bev. Robert—who everyone calls Bob—would actually prefer to be known as Rob.

Names are important to all of us. As some anonymous writer once observed, “There is no
sweeter sound to our ear than the sound of our own name.”

Knowing and using the names by which staff members prefer to be known is a simple way for supervisors, managers and co-workers to demonstrate that they value their staff members as individuals.

Learning the name which each employee prefers is simple enough. Like my new dentist, you could include a “Prefers to be called” space on one of the forms that new employees complete soon after they are hired. Then ensure this information is passed on to the newcomer’s supervisor, and through her to the newcomer’s co-workers.

In the absence of the collection of this information on a form, supervisors can ask newcomers, “What name would you prefer that we use when addressing you?” Then use this name when speaking with him and introducing him to his new co-workers.

Article by Nelson Scott.
of SEA Consulting, Edmonton, Alberta,Canada. Nelson is the author of Thanks! GREAT Job! Improve Retention, Boost Morale and Increase Engagement with High-Value, Low-Cost Staff Recognition. Nelson is an expert in creating staff and customer loyalty. http://www.seaconsultingonline.com/

Other Articles:

Posted by Terry Pithers – The Canadian Business Etiquette Expert and correct name-dropper

About the author 

Terry Pithers

Canadian speaker, humorist and business etiquette expert. If you are interested in booking me for a presentation, keynote or workshop, contact me. Based in Calgary / Edmonton, Alberta in western Canada.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}