Wednesday, June 03, 2009

How to learn names quickly and easily

"Taking time is a thief's trade; making time is a strategist's. An effective manager must be both a strategist and a thief, stealing time from less compelling and more leisurely pursuits to get the job done"

Lewis Kelly

This was one of the first quotes in the book "Time Tactics of Very Successful People" by B. Eugene Griessman.

I am through my third day at Nu Horizons. Learning at this point is like drinking through a fire hose. There is so much for me to learn. There are so many people I need to reach out to. I am swamped. Almost back to back meetings. Many of which present me with more information and further action.

But it is fun.

Of course it would be more fun if I had a kitchen, furniture and a shower that worked. But all that well come together. Just as my understanding and learning will.

My "learning names" tip for today. I sent an email to all 700+ staff asking them to email me a photo of themselves. I then attach those photos to their Outlook contacts. It is much easier to learn peoples' names with a picture. And Outlook has a function to easily do this.

The only challenge it presented to me is just dealing with the email volume (even with assistance) was quite onerous. But I do think this is a great way to get peoples' names right.

Perhaps ask me in a month how it worked.

4 Comments:

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

Hi Jim,

Something similar we've done here is create a company directory that has everyone's photo. We use our intranet wiki to do this. Granted, we have less employees than Nu Horizons, but it did work well at a company of ~200, where I got the idea from. New employees consistently say that it is one of the most useful tools they had available to them in their first days/weeks/months. It also provides a lot of benefit for companies with multiple offices around the world as co-workers can put a face to a name. Once photos were added, the company directory quickly because the most popular section of the intranet, both here and at the company I previously worked for.

Seems like a simple thing, but surprisingly popular and impactful to culture.

-Kevin.

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Martin O'Neill said...

Dale Carnegie said "the sweetest sound to a person's ear is the sound of their own name." Thanks for the tip.

 
At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Dominik Godat said...

I started to repeat the name of the person that I was introduced to at least 10 times. It works very well.

 
At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it's been more than a month, how did it work (you did invite the question)?

Hope you're showering by now. ;-)

Take care,
Ann

 

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