How to Keep Your Employees from Wanting to Kill You

1. Let people finish what they have to say. Most interruptions are derailments, and as such, most interrupters are avoided.

PRACTICE: On a daily basis, challenge yourself to play the game called, “Let’s See How Long I Can Go Without Interrupting People.” Actually keep score. See if you can beat your personal best each day.

Then, every time you DO interrupt (unnecessarily, that is), drop twenty bucks in a jar. Get the whole office involved in the game. Then, at the end of month, use the money to have a BBQ. Or donate it to charity. That should put an end to the interrupting. Does your conversational narcissism irritate people?

2. Listen with the ear of your heart, not the pointed finger of your ego. Judgmental attitudes stop commutation before it starts.

PRACTICE: Post a sticky note on your desk that reads, “Are you listening with your heart or with your ego?” This serves two purposes: (1) A visual reminder of what to listen WITH during your conversations, (2) An accountability measure to assess your listening practices after your conversations are through.

Then, should you catch yourself listening more with your ego and less with your heart, here’s what you do. Take ten extra minutes before clocking out to replay key conversations in your head. Then honestly ask yourself, “How would my heart have listened in that conversation if my ego wasn’t engaged? Are you monopolizing the talking or the listening?

3. Recognize employee contributions and ideas. According to Dilbert, most bosses will listen thoroughly to your input, thank you for your suggestions, and then do exactly what they planned all along.

PRACTICE: Just sit quiet. Your hand doesn’t have to shoot up first. Next time you attend a meeting or sit on a panel, play another game called “Let See How Long I Can Go Without Contributing.”

This will force you to listen FIRST and hear everyone else out before stating your position. Yes, it takes self-control; but you never know – you may hear something that adds to, modifies or betters your idea. Is your listening all show and no go?

4. Remain calm when confronted with different points of view. The word “emotion” comes from the Latin emotere, which means, “to disturb.”

PRACTICE: Take a few breaths. Recognize that someone has an opinion, even though it may not be your own. You don’t have to agree. You don’t have to disagree. Just honor it. Practice a little Namaste Leadership. Honor = Respect = Trust = Increased Willingness to Ask More Questions.

Otherwise you’ll start to resemble Dogbert, whose management strategy is, “I’m not going to comment – I’ll just look at you until you agree with me.” When you are emotionally involved in conversation, how well do you communicate?

How will you keep your employees from wanting to kill you?

For the list called, “33 Daily Practices for Boosting Managerial Magnetism,” send an email to me, and you get the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How many relationships are you missing out on because you don’t know people’s names?

Names are everything.

Your name is your truth.
Your name is your identity.
Your name is the very first (and, ideally) the ONLY label that you, as a human being, should be known for.

For that reason, after 3,135 days of wearing a nametag, here’s what I’ve discovered:

When people know each other’s names, the rules change.

Wow, Scott, is ALL your material this deep?

I know. Super obvious, right?

Exactly. And if it’s obvious to YOU, that also means it’s obvious to your customers.

Look. You know names are important.

MY QUESTION IS: Are you practicing that?

Think about it. I guarantee you have somebody in your life right now – a coworker, a customer, some guy that you see at the gym every morning – whom you’ve “known,” maybe even for a few years, but you don’t really KNOW – because you have no clue what his name is.

And the problem is, every time you engage with that person, that fact is always in the back of your mind. Bugging you. Driving you crazy. And it prevents you from TRULY connecting.

PERFECT EXAMPLE: Remember the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry was dating a woman whose name he couldn’t remember? All he knew was that it rhymed with a female body part. He was going crazy!

First, he began brainstorming with George, trying to come up with it.

Mulva? Celeste? Gipple? Aretha? Moviola?

Next, when Jerry was with this nameless woman, his internal monologue never shut up. He began sneaking through her purse, even asking leading questions, trying to get to the bottom of this interpersonal mystery.

Finally, at the end of the episode, it hits him. He opens his window and screams out into the streets of Manhattan, “DELORES!!”

SO, MY QUESTION IS: What’s causing conversational tension in your relationships? What’s preventing your relationships from getting started? And how many relationships are you missing out on because you don’t know people’s names?

Sometimes, not knowing a name prevents you from even approaching a person in the first place. This is due to a simple sociological equation:


Yep. More Rocket Surgery.

But this interpersonal truism, simple as it sounds, becomes even more powerful when you reverse it:


Who are YOU avoiding? Who’s avoiding you? And how many relationships with potentially cool people are you missing out on because of that?

THEREFORE: Names hold the key. Names are the baseline. Names are everything. Names reduce psychological distance between people.

Without a name, you can only get to know someone SO well.
Without a name, there’s a relational threshold level you’ll never surpass.
Without a name, your relationships will continue to feel awkward and inauthentic.


When people know each other’s names, the rules change. And once you get it, make the choice to commit it to memory, and of course, USE that name in conversation, a few cool things start to happen:

You diffuse defensiveness.
You expedite and deepen the connection.
You honor the Truth of each other in that experience.

Interested in making connections and building relationships like that?

Cool. Here’s what to do:

1. ADJUST your attitude. Stop convincing yourself that you’re “horrible with names.” This negative attitude will only become a self-fulfilling prophecy that holds you back.

2. ASK for names earlier. The long your wait, the more awkward it gets. Make sure you look the person in the eye for at least three seconds when they say their name. This helps your visual memory store the information accurately.

3. ARTICULATE names often, but not TOO often. Over usage makes people question your intentions. Depending on the length of the conversation, a few times is enough. Don’t overdo it like a rookie insurance salesman who just got out of training and spends his days slinging bunk policies at Chamber meetings.

4. ADMIT your name-related brain farts when they happen. Tell the truth, tell it all and tell it now. Take the blame. It happens to everybody. And make sure to use language like “Will you remind me your name please?” instead of, “What’s your name again?” This keeps the blame on YOU and doesn’t make the other person feel as if they were instantly forgettable.

5. ADVANCE your memory skills. How many books have you read about remembering people’s names? One a year should do the trick. I suggest Ben Levy’s book.

REMEMBER: A person’s name is her identity and her truth.

Take it from a guy whose name NOBODY seems to forget.

How many relationships are you missing out on because you don’t know people’s names?

For the list called, “10 Effective Ways to Remember People’s Names,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

A Guide to Treating People Beautifully

1. Be trusted to represent people’s interests, even when they’re not around. This will encourage people to confide in you, even when YOU’RE not around.

PRACTICE: Don’t act embarrassed. If someone asks you a question about a potentially uncomfortable topic, don’t try to diffuse the discomfort by making a joke out of it. That tactic only works in reverse and makes the conversation more uncomfortable.

Instead, work on your poker face. Honor their question despite the fact that you might be totally confused or giggling like a little schoolgirl on the inside. This form of openness will show them that it’s both acceptable and comfortable to discuss difficult issues.Who trusts you?

2. Preserve people’s self-esteem. The need to feel accepted is the driving force of their actions.

PRACTICE: Let them know you need them. Let them know they’ve helped or inspired you. Offer your attention TO and acknowledgment OF their contributions to your worldview. Each of these practices can be accomplished in two words:

“Take notes.”

Taking notes is proof. Taking notes keeps you mindful in the conversation. Taking notes honors someone’s thoughts. Taking notes is respectful. Taking notes increases someone’s self-esteem. Especially when you email them a copy of your notes five minutes after the conversation. Wow. How are you helping people fall in love with themselves?

3. Tolerate honest mistakes as learning experiences. People don’t need to be reminded how badly they screwed up.

PRACTICE: Instead, people need to be reassured that you’re going to love them when they DO screw up, help them prevent the same mistake from being made again, and partner with them to brainstorm lessons learned from those mistakes.

Try this. At your next meeting, go around the room and require each person to (1) share a mistake they recently made, (2) offer three lessons they learned FROM that mistake, and (3) suggest the practical application of those lessons to the other people in the room.

Then, later that week, create a hard copy of all the mistakes and lessons shared during the meeting. Staple a $20 bill to it and send it to everyone who attended. And what you do is, attach a sticky note that says, “Thanks for being human!” How are encouraging and rewarding mistakes?

4. Treat people with respect and fairness, regardless of their position or influence. Titles are worthless labels whose sole function is to give people a reason to pigeonhole, avoid or judge you.

PRACTICE: Acknowledge everybody. This one shouldn’t even be on my list. But, because not everybody practices this simple act of approachability, I’ve included it. So: Slow down. Stay present. Hold your eye contact with everyone you encounter for one additional second. ONE second. That’s what Bill Clinton does.

Also, see if you can acknowledge every single person you encounter for one whole day. It’s harder than you think. Then again, it all depends on what you see when you see people. Remember: Unspoken hierarchies hamper the freedom of expression and, as a result, create a distance between people. What unnecessary title is preventing people from getting to know the REAL you?

What’s your #1 secret for treating people beautifully?

For the list called, “12 Ways to Out Service the Competition,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Make Loyalty Vanish

1. Act overworked, annoyed and irrational. That way people will stop asking you so many damn questions.

2. Be pervasively unpredictable.

3. Cling to any available shred of power.

4. Completely ignore the self-interest of everyone but yourself.

5. Create an environment where people are afraid to ask questions.

6. Demonstrate complete and utter unwillingness to understand how other people experience you.

7. Exude a constant sense of scarcity by creating a monopoly on information.

8. Focus all of your efforts on keeping people “satisfied.”

9. Form your vocabulary around the following phrases:

Because I said so. Call back later. Do it anyway. I don’t know what to tell you. I’m off the clock; you’ll have to ask someone else. I’m on break. It’s not my fault. Just look on the website. My boss said I couldn’t. My shift is over. No. Not my problem.

That’s against the rules. That’s not my department. That’s not my job. That’s not our policy. That’s the way we’ve always done it. We don’t do that. Don’t bother me right now. Don’t bring me problems; bring me solutions. Here, you handle this problem. I’m busy. I don’t have time for you right now. I don’t want to hear it. I know it’s a holiday, but… I know it’s Saturday, but… I know it’s your day off, but…

In case a bus hits you, I want to make sure you and Karen are inter-changeable. My mind is made up. That is THEE stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. We’re replacing you with this robot… You don’t really feel that way. Your office chair didn’t show up so you’ll be sitting on orange crates for the next two weeks.

10. Give people the illusion that they participated in the decision.

11. Give your customers no reason to be proud to be your customers.

12. Give your employees no reason to be proud to be your employees.

13. Instant and incessant compartmentalization of everyone you meet.

14. Instead of digesting people’s information, think about how you are going to impress them with your next comment.

15. Instead of taking the time to understand things, try this: (1) get angry, and (2) create uninformed opinions based on those emotions.

16. Keep the constant river of bullshit flowing; yet refuse to acknowledge its existence.

17. Lead from a script and manage from a handbook.

18. Make it hard to complain.

19. Monopolize everything but the listening.

20. Prohibit any shred of playfulness.

21. Refuse to acknowledge, listen to or implement the ideas of ANYONE born after 1980.

22. Refuse to demonstrate any loyalty yourself.

23. Refuse to give people insight into how you operate.

24. Return calls slowly.

25. Return emails slowlier.

26. Say as much as possible without actually saying anything.

27. Sell price WAY before value.

28. Share your wisdom and advice at every possibly opportunity, especially when it’s not asked for.

29. Silently demand that people read your mind instead of actually telling them what you’re thinking.

30. When asked questions, immediately reach for ready-made replies and pre-packaged answers.

31. When customers are lined up outside your door, ready to buy, refuse to open your doors even a MINUTE early.

32. When customers are still browsing, ready to buy, refuse to close your doors even a MINUTE late.

33. When people become upset, immediately tell them to “calm down.”

34. When people tell you their problems, reflexively respond with the following five-word lie: “I understand how you feel.”

How are you making loyalty vanish?

For the list called, “12 Ways to Out Service the Competition,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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