Thursday, 8 December 2011


My friend, Helen, is about three weeks into her "name tag" experiement. Every day, she wears a stick-on name tag that reads "Hello. My Name is Helen." She had the idea from a website where a man writes about his doing this for years.

Helen is an outgoing person to begin with. I met her more than 10 years ago when I lived and worked in Philadelphia. We were volleyball partners and became friends. She is an extremely positive, high energy person who brings a smile to practically every situation. The name tag element just adds spice to the pot.

At first, I thought she was nuts. Why would anyone want to look like a lost conventioneer? But she's found that folks are more likely to talk to her and to introduce themselves to her. Her experiences made me think about the first impressions we all make and create about others.

Folks who are on the far end of the spectrum on the quiet side might be viewed as "snobs." The most outgoing people could be seen as brash or overbearing. These behaviors are most likely manifestations of nervous energy; "How do I start a conversation? What do I talk about?" The name tag is a brilliant equalizer here. It creates a sense of comfort and approachability.

I'm eager to learn of Helen's adventures (and misadventures) with her name tag. What are your thoughts?

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