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Service Hack: The Name Game

Service Hack: The Name Game

You want an easy hack? Whenever you’re dealing with someone, especially in the service industry, use their name.

When meeting your server at the restaurant, remember his name, and when you ask for things, say it back. “James, may I get another glass of water with lemon?” “Ramesh, this is the best aloo mutter I have ever had. Please thank the cook.”

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It’s amazing how this bonds people to you.

Names Matter

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People love hearing their own name. It’s something built in. For whatever reason, it makes a little touch, a “ping” against our inner validity when people know and remember our names.

When you meet people with names foreign to your language, make sure you get them right. Don’t belabor the issue, but ask them to repeat it a few times, and try your best to get it close to what they’re saying. In lots of cultures, people won’t correct you once you’ve gone off and started saying their name incorrectly, and yet, I imagine it’s something of a stab every time they hear it.

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On the phone with a customer service representative, sometimes names serve two purposes. One, it gives the person on the other end of the line the cue that you are attentive, so they should be on their best game, and also, you know who might have given you incorrect information. The first premise applies: people love hearing their own name, but these other two layered on make it a great thing to consider.

State your name

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When dealing with people, especially for the first time, lead with your name. Do this when calling places. “Hi, my name is Chris Brogan. May I speak with Dave?” It disarms people on the other side of a phone call, because one question when dealing with a telephone is always, “who is on the other end?” You answer this right off, and people can focus more on what you need. It also comes off that you’re not hiding anything, and this is disarming to recipients as well.

Start voicemails with your name, so that there’s no chance of people not knowing who called. Introduce yourself in social settings with your name, even if others are just making small-talk. This helps with that weird feeling afterwards, where you’ve bonded a bit, but you have no clue the other person’s name, nor they yours.

Names are powerful in dealing with people, and people are a vital part of all service. Try this out and see what you think of the results. For the record, my name is Chris Brogan.

— Chris Brogan is a regular writer at Lifehack.org. He is working on a site to grow and develop new content networks at GrasshopperFactory.com, and he puts up even more posts and articles at [chrisbrogan.com]. Occasionally, he sleeps.

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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