What is my name?

Hi this is A-lay-na from A.D.S. Coaching & Mentoring. I wanted to follow up with you or I am calling about …. Typical introduction to a conversation for most people in business. Sometimes you forget about the niceties and want to get straight to the point, but the intent is the same to have a conversation.

I know I don’t have a common name, but it has three vowels and three consonants and one follows the other and it is often mispronounced. Usually, I will let it slide, but today, I had a little pinprick about it because it revealed that the person I have been speaking to over the past few weeks is really not listening to the conversation nor are they focused from the moment the conversation begins; the second the phone is answered.

In all business, it is important to stay focused and let the person you are speaking to know you are focused on them. Especially if you are uncertain how to pronounce their name because it is not a normal name. When you see their name come up on the caller id, give yourself a second to re-center your brain to pay attention. If you are stumbling at the end of the conversation to pronounce their name, it is because you were not listening. I catch myself starting the conversation with my name, then remembering I am not the only person they talk to and don’t want them to have to scramble to remember who I am so I remember to add an identifier onto it.

Years ago, I worked with for a company and the Executive Director was pathetically an irate person when it came to the correct spelling of a name on a phone message. I use to think how ridiculous, the client will never see their name misspelled because the message went straight to the trash. But as I am now closer to what his age was at the time I worked with him, I can understand why he felt that way. If there is ever a chance of me ever meeting the same person and shaking their hand, or if I needed to send them a letter or message in an email, (which email was not an option when I worked there), I would want their name to be spelled correctly. I have never forgotten this particular clients' name or the spelling. Smith was actually Smyth.

Sure, I don’t always remember a name and I have several one liners that help me when I do forget a person’s name, but I will never guess and if I am uncertain, I will ask for the correct pronunciation, more than once, if needed, and ask them to spell it so I can see it in my mind or write it down. I want to show the person that I truly care about who they are and respect their name.

I have had my name for more than 50 years and every week, I meet someone new. Usually I will let it roll and used to correct the person, but stopped doing that. But now I have decided it is time to take back my name because if they don’t know, they cannot fix it. More importantly, I think taking time to get to know a person’s name shows them that they are important to you and in the end, they will appreciate you for taking the time to get to know them as well. Parents name their children and they have their reason for giving them the name or nickname. I have heard my children say, sometimes they would have wanted a different name than they were given, but a person’s name is the first identifier of who they are. Isn’t it time to listen to the name that you are hearing, instead of pushing ahead and guessing what it is at the end.

Hi, my name is A-lay-na, how can I serve you today? Saying goodbye Alaw-na is not cool.


Alayna Stiffler

A.D.S. Coaching & Mentoring LLC