What’s in a name ?


I went for my routine jog this morning . I make it a point to smile and wave my hand to a couple of my security friends. In the last one month I made it a point to remember two names- Kartik and Sharath. Today I saw Sharath coming in the cycle and I smiled and said, “Good morning Kartik.” I could see his facial expression as he was taken aback and told me,”Sharath Sir.” As I completed my one round , I saw him again and told his name correctly, I could see his smile. After a brief run, I saw the real Kartik and I got it right and he was happy. This was an important lesson. In fact yesterday too, when I was in a meeting I could get the name of one gentleman, Venkat who was coming after 3 weeks for the meeting and I could see the joy on his face.

Dale Carneige said it best:


But on the 24th of July when I visited a footwear shop to buy a pair of running shoes I did not forget to get the name of the person who helped me decide on the right pair of shoes. Sudhir Sharma is a 100M sprint runner at the national level and he mentioned that I can see his credentials and record on the Athletics foundation website. He mentioned that he has 14000 followers on Instagram and he also coached runners. I was impressed with the way he engaged me and answered calmly all the questions I had in choosing the shoes. Sudhir from ASICS footwear did all the basics of selling right. He did not run down the competition, in fact what I  liked about him was that he said “They are good.” He personalized his approach by sharing more about the “runs” he has done and what kind of Injury he had and what kind of shoes he is wearing now. So I will remember Sudhir Sharma for his astute understanding of what I wanted and then  sensing that I am was willing to go for a premium category based on my needs.Every time I was addressing him by his name.

So I had this conversation with another person who was standing next to Venkat yeterday in that meeting  who told that ” I can’t remember names.” So Venkat replied that one can try mnemonics (the study and development of systems for improving and assisting the memory). I was not aware of the same. Then the other person said , there is something called ” pegging” technique by which you can remember names. Since last one month I was exposed to “mind map” , so  I also gave my two cents.


So What’s in a name is just not true. In my phone I have 4 Sunil’s and each is saved with either a company name, a nickname, a profession and a community. In today’s hyperconnected world I need to know the name and also what are you about? So it  is more than important to get the name and beyond, because we are constantly struggling with our time and energy to recollect moments. One easy hack could be to type or write that person’s name in your note pad and give a label and how he made you special.

Kartik & Sharath made me special with their smile and salute (showing their love), I make it a point to smile back and call out their names. Venkat’s warmth and smile was a good connection and I saved his name and number. Sudhir dispayed respect and compassion that made me remember his name and I asked for his business card to keep in touch.

I feel, I could remember their names because they gave me warmth and made me special. That was a lesson to me. How many times have I wondered why the other person is not remembering my name? It is because I have not done my part of making the other person special. The way you do it is by kindness. As Mark Twain says, “kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”














2 thoughts on “What’s in a name ?

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  1. Loved the article Vinod. Thanks for sharing the article. It reminds that I must remember the name of everyone. Generally we have tendency to remember people name above you. Good article and keep it up.

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