The World According to Shane

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What's in a Name?

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Have you ever stopped to notice how infrequently people use your name to address you; or how your ears prick, when someone does?

One of the things I've been trying to do over the past month or so is to remember; and to address people by their first name, and its having a big impact. I've been making a point of introducing myself, and where it is not completely obvious (like no name badge), asking for their first name. Its suprised me how willing people have been to tell me their name, and how much of a buzz they get when you use it in conversation with them.

So much of a buzz in fact, that I have received better service (even from those disengaged, teenagers in those dodgy food outlets), I've had a valet parking attendant ignore the arriving players from the Australian Rugby League Team (he was helping them unload their baggage at the time) to give us our car back, and even free drinks and a dessert.

When I started in recruitment, I was a fresh faced 19 year old, and to me, everyone was my "mate". I was often criticized because whether I was talking to a candidate, client or potential client, I would address them as Mate. Thanks Mate. Sure Mate. I'll get that for you Mate! I'll get back to you Mate. My employers at the time (John Clements and David Stent - Outsource Personnel) went to great lengths to get this habit out of me and after many, many "coaching" sessions, I learned to drop the Mate and found ways to work around it. I immediately sounded smarted!

But what I did wrong was I stopped referring to the person completely. Instead of saying mate, I didn't say anything. I started simply saying thanks, sure, I'll get that for you and I'll get back to you, without anything else. And to be honest, its worked for me for the past 13 years.

But when traveling with a group of people through the US last month, I noticed how they went to great lengths to get someones name and use it. And I noticed the difference it made to how the other person felt about them, and us as a group, and how it changed how they served or dealt with us. So I decided to try it in the States and continued when I got home.

Initially, this was a real challenge. I'm a shocker for names. I cant remember my family dogs name half the time, let a lone a complete stranger. Yet, the more I tried and the more I practiced, the easier it has become. And its making a a real difference. Now getting better service or a free dessert is a good thing, but the real buzz is seeing the other person light up a little at the idea that someone is interested, or cares.

Now I fly a lot, and tend to mix my airlines a bit between Qantas and Virgin Australia (formerly Blue!!). One of the things I notice is how I am addressed by the Customer Service Representative on each airline. Both pretty much say the same thing.[My Name] right down the back and on the left (hey, what can I say, I fly in the cheap seats). Qantas say "Mr Ridley" where as Virgin say "Shane" a clear indication of the "culture" of the airline, but in both cases, I am addressed by my name. And in both cases, I get that same little lift I've just described.

So The World According to Shane - try and use peoples name, not only once or twice, but throughout the conversation. It may not get you a free dessert every time, but it just might make someones day.





Ryan Myler

Director/ Financial Planner

Optimas Financial Planning

Shane has provided me with invaluable advice, being that I am in start up phase with my business. His knowledge of business in general, along with his strong understanding of the current trend toward social media and it's influence, have provided me with insights on how to grow my company. I would strongly recommend Shane in a business mentoring role due to his depth knowledge and broad experience, along with his superior story telling ability to make the complex simple.

June 25, 2012

Indiana Forrest-Bisley

Business Development Manager Australian Exhibitions & Conferences

Shane exhibited with us at the 2012 Safety in Action trade show - Melbourne. I found him to be extremely professional and furthermore his pre employment training services were a hit at the show. We will see Shane return to the safety show Perth (August 7-9). If you're in need of ANY type of pre employment training
I would strongly reccommend OTrain to anyone within HR."

June 29, 2012