I don’t know if all of you have noticed, but our new member announcement has a field called “Greeting to use.” It is there because I think it is important in establishing networking connections to be able to call people by the name they find most “comfortable.”
As I have often said, you can call me anything you like as long as it isn’t late for lunch. Most people who have names that can be abbreviated in various ways will tell you that they don’t really care if you call them William or Bill or even Will for that matter.
That said, when you call them on the phone and they say “Bill here,” you now know their preference. If only they would tell you without a lot of prompting.
I find it amusing at times that people don’t make it easy. My game is to find out their preferred name. They typically prefer to make it difficult.
They do it in various ways. I know you don’t want me to get started on outgoing signatures again. (Oh no, not again!) In addition to your points of contact, your normal outgoing signature should have your “Greeting to use.” I sign my messages “Regards, Matt,” and then quickly follow with my given name and points of contact. If someone calls, I hope they won’t call me Matthew.
I believe so strongly in this basic form of courtesy to others that my name badge has Matt Bud on it, not Matthew R. Bud. When others shake my hand in introduction, I don’t want to have to correct them with “Just call me Matt.”
While you may not spend a lot of time thinking about what others call you, I do. Your goal is to make others comfortable in contacting you. More comfortable contacts mean better networking, and that is what The FENG is all about.
So, for the majority of us who have nick names that we prefer others use, make a special effort to ensure that you have communicated your preference to those who might reach out to you.
I will say that even the shortest names can have shorter versions. I once worked with a guy named Harry who the boss insisted on calling Har (or was it Hair?).
While there are those who believe that stick and stones can break your bones but names will never hurt you, I would suggest that enabling me to call you by your preferred name will get our friendship off on a better footing and with less pain.