Hello, my name is Kelley

August 10, 2009 · Print this post

I didn’t go to President Obama’s inauguration, although I did weep for joy through the entire event in the comfort of my own living room (see Comments section to learn why this is edited). But if I’d been there, I would certainly have been wearing a name tag.

Sharing your name is an act of courtesy, courage, and confidence. It’s a way to connect; it’s the beginning of community. Forget about those people who throw their name around like a weapon or a bribe (and just so you know, if you do that, other people talk bad about you when you’re not around). Most people aren’t impressed by your name; they’re impressed by the gift of it.

So don’t ever assume that people at your company or in other parts of your life “know who you are” — that just makes you look either insecure or enormously arrogant, neither of which is really the ideal path to getting things done.

It’s not hard. Smile and say, “Hi, I’m Kelley.” From that simple connection, you can go almost anywhere.

2 Responses to “Hello, my name is Kelley”

  1. Matt on August 10th, 2009 11:52 pm

    PREFACE! This comment has nothing to do about politics or my personal political affiliation so please try to see through the initial reaction as an “anti-obama message”

    I was in Berlin recently..observed something very powerful in a conversation among a group on a train ride.. the mere addition of a political or religious inclination into a conversation, in our current time, has the power to derail a message.

    I love this post BUT, the message starts out with an unavoidable observation that Obama is awesome! Nothing at all wrong with this message..BUT since we are talking about humans..I wonder if the writer even realizes that a significant portion of his/ her readership feels alienated and MOST LIKELY won’t get to the real message of the post.

    Now stop the natural reactions..”Oh if a person thinks like that they are not intelligent, or is lacking. blah, blah..it is the reality of today..religion and politics polarizes people and their attention span.

    In the spirit of this blog and the great posts of this author I thought it would be worth while to interject here.

    Best to all of you..no matter what your political sentiments are!

  2. Kelley Eskridge on August 11th, 2009 9:24 am

    Matt, you’re right. That part of my post crosses a line between “being human” and remember that the goal is to communicate effectively with other humans. It’s true, politics is one of the Great Dividers, and there are enough communication pitfalls at work without adding to the mix.

    I’ve edited the post as an object lesson for anyone else who might read it.

    On my personal blog, I say whatever I like. Here, I try to model communication behavior that I’d like to see in the workplace. Sometimes they need to be different. Today, Matt is modeling the behavior by pointing out how I just made myself less effective.

    Matt, thanks for calling it out in such a clear and non-threatening way — great example of how to tell someone they messed up without making them want to run away screaming.

    Best to you as well.