Why Hearing Your Own Name Might Just Be the Sweetest Sound, Ever!

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Scenario: You see someone approaching you, who you met not too long ago, but you can’t pinpoint their name. Crap! You think to yourself as they just greeted you by your name. “Hey girl hey,” you say, trying to play it off, hoping they don’t notice you have not a clue if it’s Jill, Jade, Jen or none of the above.  

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Been there!…. Done that!…. And it’s not a good feeling. You end up spending more time stressing out about what their name is all while missing out on a good conversation.

Not knowing everyone’s name is understandable, however, making an attempt to at least try and remember those who you interact with will be the biggest game changer of your life. Let’s take a look and see why.

Chemistry Reaction

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First things first, hearing your name is literally causing a chemical reaction inside your brain. Feel good hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin, are released into your brain when your ears encode that your name has just been said aloud. This burst of excitement makes people happy and sends unconscious signals such as empathy, trust, and compassion to the unconscious brain.

Therefore, when you state somebody’s name, whether you are presenting them with an award or saying hey in a hallway, you are creating an energy force.

According to human behavior expert, Dale Carnegie, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” If you want to show that you care whether it be a new friend you meet or a future boss that interviewed you, dropping their name mid-conversation will definitely send a spark of interest from you to that person.

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In a recent study using fMRI technologies, brain activation patterns were examined in response to hearing one’s own first name in contrast to hearing other people’s names. These findings show that several regions in the participants left hemisphere experienced greater activation to one’s own name, including the middle frontal cortex, middle and superior temporal cortex, and cuneus.

These findings are literally mind-blowing as they provide us evidence that Destiney’s Child may have been on to something here: Say my name say my name!

Let’s look at a few different examples where hearing your name on the receiving end or saying one’s name on the giving end makes a world of difference:

1. Customer service

How annoying is it when a customer service representative continually addresses you as “maim” or sir. Like dude, you have my information pulled up in front of you, use it! It is an instant game changer when a company takes the common curtsey to use one’s name. The use of a customer’s name automatically moves their services from average to premium in the eyes of the customer because they are personalizing the experience. This is the exact reason I enjoy spending money at Chick-fil-a compared to any other fast food service because they always address me by name.

2. Teaching

Want to snag someone’s full-on attention? Call out their name in the middle of class and access is fully granted. This technique is also good to use if you are presenting a project or partaking in speaking engagements. By utilizing someone’s name, again you are making it real and having that individual zone in.

3. Friends

This one should be an obvious one, but using names with friends, especially new ones allows them to really hone into what it is you are saying.

4. Work

If you are a business owner and want more customers, start using your client's name in all of your interactions and see how your numbers play out. If you work in the corporate world, start utilizing your co-worker's names when saying good morning. You will start seeing a positive difference it will make.

Let's put it into practice!

To remember people’s names, try using different strategies and techniques that will work for you. Repeat their names mentally when you first are introduced. Write it down if you have the opportunity to do so. Use the power of association to help as well.

What methods help you remember names? Have you encountered a specific experience you can think of when using someone’s name and it was a total game-changer? Let’s have a discussion!