Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thankful Thursday #1

I've been thinking a lot lately about the impact certain people have had on my career thus far and wanted to start a theme here on my blog for celebrating these people over the course of the next few weeks. Once a week, in no particular order, I'll pick a different person and focus on a way they have directly contributed, shaped and/or influenced my life, particularly the business end of what I do (aka: the stuff they don't teach you in art school).

My mentors have given me an assortment of both big and small "life lessons" regarding how to conduct myself in business. All of which has been helpful as I navigate how to make a living doing what I love while remaining true to myself, my goals, wants/needs. So without further adieu…

The Mentor: My dad, Mark Lange (graphic/industrial designer)

The Lesson Learned: Use the person's name in conversation.

Often when visiting with my father down in his office in the basement of our house (aka: 'the cave') he would get a phone call from a client of his and I would sit patiently, overhearing the conversation from start to finish. The one thing I noticed from listening to him on the phone was how many times throughout a conversation he would address the person he was speaking to by name. If not sewn throughout various points of the call, than at least at the very end. For instance, "Thanks again for calling Richard" or "Have a good day Pamela." Using an individuals name when speaking with them can make a person feel "important" or well attended to. It shows you're paying attention and you care. People enjoy hearing their own name, just as people like to talk about themselves. We all know how helpful it can be to repeat someones name aloud upon first being introduced to them: "Nice to meet you Susie" This is also an extension of that idea. The more you say it, the more it sticks in your head, the better that person feels about the way you're addressing them and the conversation.

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