Learning Names

Posted By: JohnMcCarthy
Posted On: November 2nd, 2018
Attending: Institute of Technology Carlow

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language” – Dale Carnegie in How to Win Friends and Influence People

In my Communications for Professional Life class, we came across a quote from Dale Carnegie in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People about the importance of remembering and using one’s name with the people we meet. It immediately made me think of the kids I am working with here in Carlow and the importance of trying to remember every kid’s name. I think that it represents the first step I want to take in building a relationship with the kids I am coaching throughout this year. If a kid knows that I know his or her name, it is a validation of me caring about their development as a player and person.

I have always prided myself on being good at remembering names, whether it be people I meet or kids I am coaching. I run my own basketball camp during the summer in my hometown of Medfield, MA, and my first order of business in every session is to learn each kid’s name. I don’t think you can overstate the importance of remembering a kid’s name as the first building block in developing a connection with the young person. I believe it is the initial indicator that I care about developing a relationship with them and shows that I am committed to getting to know and help them.

Between the six different groups of kids I am coaching, there are a total of approximately 120 kids and 120 names to remember. Since I only meet with each group one time per week, I haven’t remembered all 120 names on a consistent basis yet. Even if some of the kids get frustrated by me continually asking for their names week after week, I am confident that I will soon have all 120 names down. And, by the end of the year, I know it will make a big difference in the kids’ feeling acknowledged and help in developing a connection with me that goes beyond our basketball sessions.

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