RIGHT ON! Making Your Name Tag Stick

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you wear your name tag more strategically. Reading time: 2:46

          You’re standing in the registration area of a major meeting or convention. Look around.  You’d think a wind storm blew through the way the conventioneers are wearing their name tags: Every which way.  Left- sided. Right- sided. Lop-sided. Who cares? Leaders do.

        name-tag  Leaders know there is a RIGHT way to wear a name tag albeit the preponderance of overwhelming evidence on the left.

          On the left, many stick name tags on their chest as if it were a carnation or a gardenia boutonniere blossoming in their lapel.

          On the left,  many stick name tags on their chest as if it were the base for the ever-present flag pin waving on a politician’s lapel like a red white and blue flower positioned –of course –directly over the heart.

         On the left, many stick name tags on their chest as if it were manifesting a corporate logo squarely on the blazer’s left pocket in all its splendor.

         And on the left, many stick name tags on their chest as if were another medal of honor amid other decorative ribbons and military plumage strutting proudly with the same zeal that commands attention be paid to a General. Or to a Secretary of State.

          Who can ever forget the broaches and other decorative pins that Secretary of State Madeline Albright showcased prominently on her upper left side as a symbol of the kind of work she was doing that day—punitive (snake pins etc) or  remunerative (butterfly pins etc)?

         Yet most effective leaders know that when it comes to sticking name tags on: RIGHT MAKES MIGHT.

         The most effective leaders know their name tag should be clipped, pinned or pasted on their RIGHT chest close to the shoulder. Why? To make it easier for the person to read your name tag while shaking your hand and maintaining relatively more eye contact with you. 

Left side is for medals.

Left side is for medals.

             Nine out of 10 people are right-handed. They shake with their right hands. Notice when you extend your arm to shake someone’s hand, you are looking directly at their RIGHT side.

            And of course the reverse is true: the other person is also looking directly at your RIGHT side. Think of this ditty the next time you’re pinning a name tag on yourself to get it right:

Name Tag On the Right

Displayed in Plain Sight

        Of course, the haphazard sticking of name tags –every which way but the RIGHT WAY– is more often a sin of omission than commission. Most people just don’t consciously think about what side they should stick a name tag on their chest.

       Yet the most effective leaders do think about communicating to others at all times–from every place and with any thing. Even a name tag.

Logos on the left side.

Logos on the left side.

           The most effective leaders stick a name tag onas if they were framing a picture FOR OTHERS . They don’t simply stick a name tag on themselves. They stick it TO THEMSELVES.

           They stick it to their memory of the other person. They want to make sure their face sticks to their name. After all putting a name to a face and face to a name enhances relationship building which of course is leadership.

        Yet the lure of the lapel button-hole on the left side of a suit coat often acts like a magnet the way it seemingly forces conventioneers to do the conventional thing: pin something to their left chest as if you were a walking billboard.

        Even the Name Tag Guy (Scott Ginsberg), an author and public speaker on the importance of wearing a name tag, wears his name tag on the LEFT side. By design. After all, his name tag is his logo. His name tag is a billboard that shouts about him. Not for others.

        Yet the most effective leaders, wearing name tags on their right,  consider a name tag more as sound board not a billboard.

         As a sound board, a name tag on the right amplifies a message FOR others.

      As a sound board, a name tag on the right tailors a message more personally FOR ANOTHER. And as a sound board, a name tag on the right targets a message that STICKS more directly TO ANOTHER.

     Just a handshake away.  Right On!

 Today’s ImproveMINT

Wear name tags on the right to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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