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Personal Name

 

Explanations > Critical Theory > Personal Name

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

A person's name is more than an indicator -- it is an embodying symbol that has a highly personal relationship with the person. You can be the other side of the room, talking, and they will not hear anything, but if you mention their name, they will hear it and become attentive.

It is thus important to find, remember, use and manage the names of the people you meet and especially those who you intend to persuade.

Discussion

In Rome

Roman citizens had three names. The nomen was their gens or family name, such as Tullius and was the equivalent of a surname. The praenomen was the given name and equivalent of a forename, such as Marcus, and was seldom used on its own. Ordinals were often used, such as Primus or Sextus to indicate birth order. The cognomen was a nickname by which the person was known, such as Cicero. Thus the Roman orator Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC) was the cognomen of Marcus Tullius.

Influencing

All sales people know that a person's name is one of the most powerful tools of influence and they will use it carefully, attaching it to key points and when they want particular attention.

Remembering

It is remarkably easy to forget a person's name, often because you have used that name in so many different contexts that it has become unattached as a concept. A trick in remembering a person's name is to attach it strongly to the person. Some ways of doing this include:

  • Make an aural connection. Repeat their name out loud several times soon after you have met the person. This also helps build rapport.

  • Remember the name as a forename-surname combination. It is actually easier to remember John-Wilkinson than John alone, because John-Wilkinson is far more unique.

  • Use visualization. Imagine the person with their name tattooed on their forehead or otherwise written on them.

  • Use metaphor and analogy. Imagine someone called John 'sitting on the John'. Imagine Mrs Green as painted green, wearing green clothes.

See also

Their name, Verifying the person

 

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