Friday, August 8, 2008

Communication Etiquette: Using Names

I think it must be a prerequisite for hairdressers to be great talkers and have fantastic interpersonal skills. They aren't just in the business of cutting hair, but also building relationships. If I don't like my hairdresser, I probably won't go back.

I went to a new hairdresser today on a friend's recommendation and he was a pleasure to talk to. Other than having a million and one "chit chat topics" up his sleeve, the one thing I really noticed right from the start was that he addressed me by name. "So Heather, what would you like to do today?" "Well you know, Heather I think coloring hair is an art form." "Did you know Heather, you can win $8 million in TOTO today?!"

Some people argue that you can use a person's name too much, and that can definitely be true, but for my hairdresser it came so naturally that I never once questioned his sincerity. When it comes down to it, we all like to hear our own names. When this new hairdresser used my name it made me feel special - like he was going to remember not just my hair, but also me.

There are other benefits to using a person's name when you speak to him/her. For one, if it's someone you just met you are more likely to remember the name. Also, it shows that you are making an effort to connect with the person. You've taken the time to not just remember the name, but also use it.

This tactic can backfire however. Make sure you use the correct name! If you're in doubt, ask!

No comments:

Post a Comment