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?
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,
- 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?
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.
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]