I have had a subliminal failure built into my habits since May of 1945. It is easy for me to remember the development of this poor habit because it was moral problem I pondered off and on for many years. It all began when my father was reading How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie to me and my mother. Here was my moral dilemma as quoted from a previous post, “I remember being disgusted at the manipulative tenor of the book – be nice to people so you can manipulate them and ‘Win’ them and ‘Influence’ them to your will and personal profit. It seemed that using a persons name in conversation was a tricky way of manipulating them against their conscious will. To me it felt dishonest and being dishonest with one’s friends is the most despicable thing a person can do.”

Over the years I have been very hesitant to use people’s names, and generally only do so when absolutely necessary. However, over the last year, while I have been thinking about how to help people live better lives and reach their personal goals, it became apparent to me that using a person’s name in the right way helps them to succeed. An example of a right way to use a person’s name would be when it is associated with one of their positive accomplishments. Another right way would be when their name is associated with a positive task that they are projected to be doing. Also a good use of their name is when listing awards. Each of those usages of their name enhances their ability to do the things they want to by rewarding them for their actions.

Those are different than just using a person’s name frequently in casual conversation, and inserting their name frequently into their conversations like professional salesmen have trained themselves to do. The function of that kind of name usage is to lure the potential purchaser of an item into a sale. It is a way of using a person’s naturally positive feeling of hearing their name – against them, by pretending by that usage to be a closer friend than they really are. It is that type of manipulative usage of a person’s name that has always bothered me.

What I am seeking to ferret out in this post is how to enhance a person’s ability to reach their personal goals by the usage of their name. Perhaps another obvious practice is to use their name when talking about a project they are working on, because that would give acknowledgement of their efforts and make it easier for them to continue their work. So, a practical application of those ideas is:

Use a person’s name when acknowledging and supporting their ongoing work.