My friend Anthony (names changed) was guest speaker in an undergrad business class taught by a mutual friend of ours. Anthony works for an international financial powerhouse as director of external communications.
A week after speaking, he received the following email from one of the students:
I met u a little over a week ago in Jeff C’s class. My name is Betty X, I hope u remember me lol. Anyways I asked if I could email you and see if maybe u might need help, or like and intern or something on anything you might be working on. So…do you??? lol lol It would be great to work with you. Like I told you, I am really up for anything long as it has to do with film work lol. I hope to hear from you soon.
Although it’s deliciously tempting to mock Betty, I’ll be nice and simply say that the poor girl just doesn’t get “it.” And what is that “it”? Well, let me tell you another story.
I recently was chatting with Joe, one of the managers at The Montage Resort in Laguna Beach. He told me that he loves working for the resort’s parent company. When I asked him “why,” he smiled and said, “The sweetest sound is the sound of your name and management makes it a point to know who we are.”
Yes, there’s a basic, inherent respect to saying someone’s name and The Montage management gets “it.”
So what’s the connection between Joe and Betty? I suspect the reason why Joe appreciates hearing his name is because he knows who he is and what he stands for – and that’s what management is really recognizing when they say his name.
I’ve encountered far too many professionals who don’t know what they stand for. They are people who cannot say what it is they want to be recognized as. Clearly, Betty gave no thought as to how she wanted Ted to perceive her. She gave no thought as to what he’d think of her as she pressed “send” on that hot mess of an email!
Betty, though, is like many professionals who give little care to how they present themselves. And her email is not any worse than so many of the emails my clients receive.
Joe knows who he is and what he stands for. He knows how he contributes to The Montage and because he values himself, knows himself and is mindful of how he presents himself, he appreciates management calling his name. That’s real validation.
When someone calls your name, who is the person behind the name? What is it that your name stands for?
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