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Be The Guy Who Wears A Name Tag Everywhere

Be The Guy Who Wears A Name Tag Everywhere

…or girl.

Be The Guy Who Wears A Name Tag Everywhere

    Scott Ginsberg’s story is that one day after an event at college, he decided to keep his name tag on. What he noticed was he was instantly more approachable the rest of the day.

    Since then Scott has kept the name tag on [for an odd 2400 days], writing a few books on meeting people and running seminars on the subject.

    What’s interesting is the affect this small gesture has had on so many people. Is simply displaying your name a shortcut to networking? Or making new friends?

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    Is the name tag somehow different to just speaking up first and introducing yourself? Scott may well be pioneering the lazy way to meet people. What happens if everyone has name tags? Do we just skip the “What’s your name?” part?

    That’s saving a few seconds at most. So surely the benefit is having more people approach you first.

    However, that’s the problem most people have when meeting people – they won’t make the first move. And as you know, if no one makes the first move, no one moves.

    So right now there are three scenarios with the name tag thing.

    • 1. Everyone wears name tags and we all get along a little easier because we know each other’s names instantly.
    • 2. Everyone wears name tags but won’t approach anyone else because that’s what the name tag is for.

    and the more likely,

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    • 3. It’s just you and a small percentage of the world’s population that puts a name tag on when they leave the house.

    Scenario 3 leaves you in a few positions.

    The first being the one of ridicule and confusion. Either mocked for being so lame or continuously being mistaken as wait staff at parties, you’ll always be just one step away from printing a picture of your face on your shirts or tattooing your name on your chest [see Scott Ginsberg].

    On the other hand, as appears to be true in Scott’s case, you become the life of the party. The guy everyone talks to.

    On a personal and business level, this is a great idea. If more people feel comfortable initiating conversation with you, how much easier is networking?

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    Scott has made a living out of talking about approachability, so there is definitely something to the whole thing.

    What if you’re not the kind of person who can be comfortable with this kind of attention?

    That, I think, could be the interesting part.

    If you already have the kind of personality that welcomes strangers bridging the gap, then the name tag is really just a shortcut. A fun way to meet more people.

    However, if you’re a little less enthusiastic about being this approachable, it might be worth your while still.

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    Think about how you actually become good at talking to people. It’s by practice! The more people you talk to the better you get at talking to people.

    If you’re unable to initiate those interactions, then we might be looking at a great way to get your practice up. You won’t be instantly comfortable doing it, but you’ll instantly become better at it.

    Training wheels for introductions and approachability

    Firstly, I see this as a starting point for anyone who has trouble meeting people. Being forced to interact on this level will make you much more happy to initiate conversation in the future.

    Secondly, being that approachable is a pretty cool thing, but you don’t actually need a name tag to do it. After a while wearing this name tag, I bet you’ll start noticing ways that make you more approachable without anyone reading your name. Subtle changes in body language, vocal tone and personality, for instance.

    Remember, you can always say, “Oh, I just came from a seminar. Thanks for pointing that out. What’s your name?”

    That Guy With A Nametag – [HelloMyNameIsScott]

    More by this author

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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