Next week I move up to Auckland. A new city, new job, new church and new friends all await me. There will be a heap of knowledge to learn, processes to understand, equipment to grapple with and streets to become familiar with. These are important things to be sure, but they don’t compare with the single most important feature of Auckland I can learn: the names of those I meet.
People’s names are, without a doubt, the most important thing I can invest myself in learning in those first few weeks. Learning someone’s name says they mean something to you, and is foundational in kick-starting meaningful friendships. Everything else can be picked up as I go, but getting people’s names right first time has the potential to establish the way other people perceive me, with the effects resonating long into the future.
I want to be better at learning a hundred people’s names, than they are at remembering my random-new-guy name. I’m not going to use the excuse that ‘I suck at learning people’s names.’ I’ll dare to use people’s names even when I’m not entirely positive on it. It will be hard. It will potentially be quite awkward. But if I can pull this off, it could be the difference between a streamlined move to the big smoke, or a lonely battle for acceptance.
Do you have any tips for learning people’s names? Lets hear them in the comments!