It’s always good to address people by their first name in a conversation, as it makes them feel seen and builds a connection. But it can be overdone, and cross a line if not used with care.
For instance, the following statement is an example of a positive use of a first name:
“Have a great weekend, Ted. Tell the family we said hello.”
But the same sentiment can become downright disconcerting if the first name familiarity is overused:
“Have a great weekend, Ted. And, Ted, tell that family of yours, that beautiful, beautiful family, Ted, tell them that we, really that I, Ted, tell them I said hello. Do that Ted. Tell them Ted. Will you tell them, Ted? And Ted? You might want to get that gutter spout on the east side of your home – you know the one I’m referring to Ted? – get that fixed, Ted. For your family, Ted. Your beautiful family Ted. It’s all about family, Ted.”
This post is part of the “Workplace Communication” series.