A Simple Way To Make People Smile – What’s In A Name?

There is almost nothing sweeter than hearing the sound of your own name.  In a few (or many) letters, the entirety of your life exists.  Your name has been with you from the beginning, and remains with you every day.

Many jobs require employees to wear a name tag.  The cashier at the drive thru as you get your caffeine fix in the morning has one.  So does the teller at your bank.  And the employee at Home Depot, too (it’s often written on the aprons they wear).  Sure, it’s a requirement.  It is also an opportunity for you as a customer.  Life is often busy, and necessary errands become just a part of daily routine.  Your morning coffee helps you ease into the day with a bit of comfort and warmth.  You need to deposit that check so your bills can be paid.  The light bulb in your kitchen burned out and you didn’t have any more in the house.

Each scenario is aided by a real live person.  Bear with me if you e-deposit everything now.  The point is, each of us are human and we appreciate personal acknowledgement.  The people wearing name tags are likely working because they have to.  The cashier handing you your morning coffee may have woken up earlier than you in order to prepare the store for your arrival.  They likely see dozens of people a day who rattle off an order, swipe a debit card and leave.  Some may even say “Thank you”.  But consider this.  What if you said “Thank you, Matt”?  You just brought that person out of their fog simply by saying their name.  It’s true!  I’ve seen it firsthand.  I’ve seen a smile.  I’ve seen surprise.  I’ve seen a happier person than when I arrived.  Sure, it may be for just a moment.  That moment was created by you though.

There’s a good chance you go to the same place for your coffee every week.  The same staff likely works there too.  What happens then, when you repeat the process every time?  You build a repertoire and become familiar with each other.  They remember your order.  And you added a little positivity into the world simply by saying a name.  You also benefit.  You added a layer to your morning coffee run that enhances your experience.  Personal interaction with others and relationship building is a part of being human.  The relationship with a cashier may not be a core relationship, but it is a part of your life.

The same effect applies even when you don’t regularly frequent a certain establishment.  Remember, people love hearing their own name.  Taking a moment to recognize the person who is assisting you is an easy way to express gratitude for their time.  The next time you are out running those all-important errands, look for a name tag.  And give a personal thanks.

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