Expect Value Added in Names

Speak people’s names when in their presence, and research confirms you also spark their brain’s sense of worth, and add value to their day. How does it happen?

Your name links to intrapersonal intelligence. Think of it as an embedded icon within your brain’s symbols. See it grow meaning and confidence with every thoughtful action you take.

Your handle’s a brand of sorts – one that defines you.  It turns out that the brain associates certain unique traits with your name.

Does your J-Doe sparkle with colors you’d like others to see associated with you?

Use names to value others

Personal reflections you leave at a blog site, and questions you pose to people – pack a punch when comments link to names.

You may come to issues with a particular view – yet you unleash new intrapersonal intelligence when you use names well.

It’s not easy to remember names, since brains are more equipped to forget a name than to remember one. How so? 

Why working memory ejects names

New names enter your working memory which is designed to hold very few facts at a time. Names tossed around in conversation, for instance,  soon spill out to make room in the working memory for new information spoken.

Simply stated, new  handles heard, quickly get displaced with conversation that follows. It’s the brain’s way of freeing itself to hold key facts you are focusing on at any moment.

Names worth valuing

To hear your name spoken respectfully, is to spike wellbeing in the area of the brain that operates personal self-awareness. Researchers applied PET scans to look at activity in the brain whenever people hear their first name spoken. They observed a strong cerebral flow change in the brain’s right superior temporal sulcus. An even stronger change of flow was observed in the medial prefrontal cortex. This change to show a stronger flow suggests that this region plays a big role in a person’s processing of “self.”

Develop brain capacity to cherish names

Wan Zhi.gif

I found that research particularly interesting since I’ve just been given a new name by Chinese leaders I taught for six weeks on the Yangtze. Know what my Chinese name means?

Dr. Robyn McMaster, senior VP here at the MITA Center was also given a cool Chinese name. Know what Robyn’s new name means? Mine, the top name pictured here – means unusual or unique intelligence – Robyn’s name, pictured below, means first song, birds and flowers of spring.

Lan%2520Juan_Robyn.jpg

What does your name mean?

You’d also enjoy research on name values assigned to the brainat Neuropsychologia, in Volume43 (1), on pages 12 to 19.

Anybody you might name at work, as you listen to hear your own name spoken back in a few favorable ways?

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Smart skill 29 = Expect Added Value with Name Calling
Smart skill 30 = Expect More Memory by Outsourcing Key Facts

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14 Comments

  1. GaryD says:

    Very cool Ellen! Using peoples names often when talking to them is a good habit to get into. I never really considered the value it brings others. And when repeating someones name with someone you’ve just met, it reinforces your memory of that persons name as well.

    GaryDs last blog post..Top 10 Things That Can Shrink Your Brain

  2. eweber says:

    Gary, like you I was so unaware of that value! With modern technology we are learning daily how many amazing ways the brain helps us to build stronger communities in rather ordinary ways!

    Reason for repeating name to remember is because the name first sits in the working memory, which is equipped to hold a very few bits of information at a time. With new facts and our shift of focus – the facts (in working memory) flee from consciousness. We keep it there by repeating it, and eventually it moves to basil ganglia – where it sticks in more permanent ways to be retrieved:-) You’re right – it’s kind of cool:-)

  3. Karen Swim says:

    Ellen, this is so cool to get the science behind the theory! I knew that using a person’s name created a connection but that is so neat to hear what is happening in the brain. I believe that for you and Robyn the Chinese names are extremely fitting!

    Karen Swims last blog post..Blue Days

  4. eweber says:

    Karen, thanks for your encouraging words! Robyn and I were deeply moved by the honor of working with and learning from wonderful Chinese leaders and the fact they offered us names etched this memory in our brains too:-) Their generosity made us all learn more by working together!

  5. I so felt the love of the Chinese people as I worked with them and I felt the same about them. I was very honored to receive the name they gave me. As it is, I’ve always thought my name connected to the beauty of birds.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..Obama’s an Avid Reader – You?

  6. eweber says:

    Robyn, that was quite a memorable experience, I agree, especially because the fun and facts seems to be flying around the room the entire time. No wonder we grew to know and care about one another as leaders – who also chose to be learners together! A cool experience!

  7. JD says:

    In selling or interviewing to call someone name throughout the conversation shows you have concern for that person and it also helps to build rapport, now I understand why

    JDs last blog post..Enhance Strenghts Instead of Just focusing On Weakness

  8. eweber says:

    I agree Jim, and that’s what so cool about transferring the research into tools to improve a situation. makes sense from so many levels and adds adventure to what we sensed was so:-)

  9. [...] Benefits from Humor Smart skill 28 = Expect Active Participation by Facilitating Smart skill 29 = Expect Added Value with Name Calling Smart skill 30 = Expect More Memory by Outsourcing Key [...]

  10. [...] No Brain Left Behind: addresses people by their names for that added spike in the brain area responsible for personal [...]

  11. [...] Benefits from Humor Smart skill 28 = Expect Active Participation by Facilitating Smart skill 29 = Expect Added Value with Name Calling Smart skill 30 = Expect More Memory by Outsourcing Key [...]

  12. [...] Benefits from Humor Smart skill 28 = Expect Active Participation by Facilitating Smart skill 29 = Expect Added Value with Name Calling Smart skill 30 = Expect More Memory by Outsourcing Key Facts 4. Move intelligences into action and [...]

  13. [...] Benefits from Humor Smart skill 28 = Expect Active Participation by Facilitating Smart skill 29 = Expect Added Value with Name Calling Smart skill 30 = Expect More Memory by Outsourcing Key [...]

  14. GaryFPatton says:

    “The sweetest sound most people ever hear, Ellen, is the sound of their own name.

    Blessings,
    Gary in TO

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