Okay, back to our random-but-not-always-random agenda. This may be a bit scattered at first. Bear with me as I piece together for you the inner workings of my brain…
Thought #1: A couple of weeks ago, my friend Jesse reminded me about Dale Carnegie’s book How To Win Friends & Influence People. I mentioned it a while ago mostly as an aside to a story about rabbit holes. Jesse loved the book, too.
Thought #2: That same week, my friend Beth shared with me an awesome story about her days working as an intern at a theatre company in New York City. Among the actors and actresses working there at the time was Christopher Walken. I thought it was funny how she admitted he sort of intimidated her. Heck yeah, I think he’d intimidate me. He probably intimidates a lot of folks.
Intimidating notwithstanding, she told me how she left the theater one day to head out for lunch. Walking down the sidewalk, she spied him coming toward her. ‘Hey Beth,’ he greeted her. How did she know his name!? She was just an intern! (My memory isn’t 100%, but I feel pretty confident she in fact used the word just in what I’d assume an act of humility).
Thought #3: One of the parts of Carnegie’s book that stood out to me was this:
‘(Franklin D. Roosevelt knew that) one of the simplest, most obvious and most important ways of gaining goodwill was by remembering names and making people feel important. Yet how many of us do it?’
I’ve always been terrible at names. I’ve used the excuse that, well, ‘Sorry, I’m terrible with names.’ Pretty lame. At some point, I realized there’s no excuse not to remember someone’s name, so I learned to repeat them in conversation, then jot them down in notebooks and in spreadsheets. That’s helped, but I still screw up sometimes and forget. I'm a work-in-progress.
Final thought: Christopher Walken remembered names. There’s something to it. However many years later, Beth still hasn’t forgotten.