6. How to make people like you (Part 2)

Remembering names and listening to others



Part I

1. Become genuinely interested in other people

2. Smile


Part II


3. Remember a person name to that person is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.



 How important is your name?  Have you ever thought about how important your name is to you?  Think about this, if you heard the names, Alexander, Adolph, Osama, Isaiah, Daniel, and Adam, what happened in your head?  Did those names bring up images?  Did you think of a certain person?  If your like most people, as your eyes crossed the page, a picture of a person came into your mind.  Names are all around us, we can’t get away from them.  Countries, cities, mountains, companies, families, people and pets all have names.  Names become directly associated with the object, whether its a company, person or place. 

         The need to establish a name is directly linked to our fallen nature; we all want to be significant. The conflict between Cain and Abel was the result of Cain, feeling his significance was in doubt. How could God accept Abel’s offering was reject his?  After the flood, in the days of Noah, all humanity was one tribe or nation.  Again at the tower of Babel, humanity attempted to establish their meaning apart from God, significance without God, was their goal.

 3 Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."  Genesis 11:3-4

 God did not let them succeed, the descendents of Noah were scattered over the face of the earth, however we took with us this innate desire for importance and meaning.  Notice, the cry was “let us make a name for ourselves”, they did not want to be forgotten, and they yearned to be established.

         Every person wants meaning and significance, our identity is however linked to word, which delights our ears more then any other, it’s our name.  Our name is a set of letters directly linked to us, when we are in a group and we hear our name called out, we feel good.  Our name is directly linked to our person, our state of being, it identifies who we are.  God’s name so identifies His person and being that the third command forbids His name to be taken in vain. 

 7 "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.  Exodus 20:7

 God’s identified Himself to Moses is I AM Who I AM,  He called Himself, the I AM or in the Hebrew hwhy Yehovah, which means self existent one.  For this reason, Jews rather then say the name of God, call Him,

Hashem” , which translates into “The name”.


What a name means


         Names come with meanings linked to the person named.  For example, the name Adam in Genesis means Red, to describe the red earth God formed him from.  The name Moses comes from the Egyptian word, “Mesu” meaning drawn, because he was drawn out of the water.  Throughout scripture, people including Angels are constantly linked to their names, because the name takes on a person’s identity.  When we hear the name Goliath, what do we think?  How about Jezebel or Judas?  Names become our link to the world we live in.

         Through our names we attempt to attain immortality, we don’t to be forgotten, this is part of our nature.  In Psalm 49 written 3000-years ago, shows this is not new, the inner thought of man is to preserve his name.


10 For he sees wise men die; Likewise the fool and the senseless person perish, And leave their wealth to others. 11 Their inner thought is that their houses will last forever, Their dwelling places to all generations; They call their lands after their own names. 12 Nevertheless man, though in honor, does not remain; He is like the beasts that perish. Psalm 49:10-12

         The value of our name follows after our death; our name becomes our identity after we die. Our wealth might buy material things, its our name people remember.  When you hear of the Wright brothers, what picture comes to mind?  What about Mother Teresa, isn’t her name is associated with acts of kindness and charity?

 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.  Proverbs 22:1

          This is not only true in the Bible, but its true for us.  All of us link our innermost person to our names, the are not just a series of vowels and consonants, our name becomes our identity.  Dale Carnegie identifies a person’s name as the “sweetest and most important sound in any language”.  Knowing a persons name is saying to the person, you are significant, I acknowledge your value.  Dale Carnegie relates several stories on just how important our name is to us. 


Sid Levy called on a customer for some time whose name was Nicodemus Papadoulos.  Most people just called him “Nick.”  Levy told us:  “I made a special effort to say his name over several times to myself before I made my call.  When I greeted him by his full name: ‘Good afternoon, Mr. Nicodemus Papadoulos,’ he was shocked. For what seemed like several minutes there was no reply from him at all. Finally, he said with tears rolling down his cheeks, ‘Mr. Levy, n all the fifteen years I have been in this country, nobody has ever made the effort to call me by right name’”[1]


Though “Nick” was the name people called him in the United States, the name he really identified with was Nicodemus Papadoulos.  He cried because Sid Levy valued him by learning his real name.  He felt significant, he was not just a customer being sold a product.  This is the same with everybody around us, our name is us.  So when we learn somebody’s name we are saying they are important.

         The steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie, was successful because he understood how people thought and worked.  Dale Carnegie relates a story:


When he was a boy back in Scotland, he got hold of a rabbit, a mother rabbit.  Presto! He soon found a whole nest of little rabbits---and nothing to feed them. But he had a brilliant idea.  He told the boys and girls in the neighborhood that if they would go out and pull enough clover and dandelions to feed the rabbits, he would name the bunnies in their honor


         Andrew Carnegie would later use these same principles to expand his steel empire.  He wanted the Pennsylvania Railroad to buy his steel, so he built a huge steel mill.  He called the mill the “Edgar Thompson Steel Works” after the Edgar Thompson the President of the railroad.  So when the Pennsylvania Railroad ordered Steel, from where did the steel come? Edgar Thompson ordered steel from the mill named in his honor, Andrew Carnegie knew people. 

         Through our name our significance is realized, but true significance only come through our relationship with God.  By acknowledging the value of every person, made in the image of God, we help people understand they are known by God.  God knows their name, which is more important then the world knowing their name. 

         Jesus told the disciples after they were excited about their new found spiritual success, not to rejoice at their power over spiritual realms, but to rejoice because their names is in Heaven. 


19 "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."  Luke 10:19-20 


4. Be a good listener.  Encourage others to talk about themselves. 


         We all have a story to tell, each one of us has a unique interesting events that have shaped our lives.  The problem is the most interesting story for each of us, is our own.  In conversations, many times we are so interested in our own story; we never hear anybody else’s story.

         One of the greatest compliments we can pay somebody is to be interested in them, in their lives and their struggles.  When we learn about the lives of others, we can better understand who we are? 

         Knowing and serving the Lord, means getting involved in the lives of others.  This also means we have to be willing to subdue our own interesting story, for the sake of others. 

         Dale Carnegie tells the story of Edward Bok, one of the most successful men in American journalism.  The odds were against him in every way, but it was his ability to encourage others to talk about themselves, which opened doors closed for most people.


            Years ago, a poor Dutch immigrant boy was the windows of a bakery shop after school to help support his family.  His people were so poor that in addition he used to go out in the street with a basket every day and collect stray bits of coal that had fallen in the gutter where the coal wagons had delivered fuel.  That boy, Edward Bok, never got more then six years of schooling in his life;..........

         He left school when he was thirteen and became an office boy for Western Union, but he didn’t for one moment give up the idea of education.  Instead, he started to educate himself.  he saved his carfares and went without lunch until he had enough money to buy an encyclopedia of American biography---and then he did an unheard of thing.  he read the lies of famous people and wrote the asking for additional information about their childhoods.  He was a good listener.  He asked famous people to tell him more about themselves.  He wrote General James A. Garfield, who was then running for President, and asked if it was true that he was once a tow boy on a canal; and Garfield replied.  He wrote General Grant asking about a certain battle, and Grant drew a map for him and invited this fourteen-yea-old boy to dinner and spent the evening talking to him.

            Soon our Western Union messenger boy was corresponding to with many of the most famous people in the nation: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Longfellow, Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, Louisa may Alcott, General Sherman and Jefferson Davis.  No only did he correspond with these distinguished people, but as soon as he got a vacation, he visited many of them as a welcome guest in their homes.  This experience imbued him with the confidence that was invaluable.  These men and women fired him with a vision and ambition that shaped his life.[2]


In ministry, we are called to be interested in the lives of others, when we are saved, we know where we are going.  If we read the last two chapters of Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, we see our story ends in heaven.  We have the opportunity to help others follow us, if we are willing to listen to their story. 

Try to find out about people, learn how they arrived at their station in life. Ask people about themselves, be curious about the lives of others.  People want to tell their story, we/they are looking for an audience who cares.   The amazing opportunity we have, is are able to give them a happy ending, an eternal ending in Heaven.

By encouraging other to talk about themselves, many times doors to their souls are opened.  We learn what drives people to be the way they are. 



[1] How to Win Friends and Influence People,  Dale Carnegie, Pg. 77 Pocket Book, 1981

[2] Ibid pgs, 90-91