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Customer Relations and the Diversity Challenge: A Trainer’s Guide

Sample Activity: What’s in a Name?

20 minutes

Purpose: To help participants recognize that each person has an identity and that it often begins with a name

Equipment: Flipchart

Material: None


1. Pair up and ask each participant to interview the other person using the following questions placed earlier on the flipchart as a guide:

Q.Where did your name originate?
Q.What has your name meant to you over the years?
Q.How have others reacted to your name?
Q.Are there interesting incidents which came up because of it?

2. Reconvene the whole group and ask participants the following questions:

Q.What did you learn?
Q.Any surprises?
Q.What happens when you hear a name before you meet the person?
Q.What happens in your mind when you hear names like Fitzgerald, Cohen, Chang, Worthington, or Gonzales?

Sample Transition Statement:

The importance of names can not be overlooked. In a customer service relationship, that is often the first thing we either hear or say, and we often make assumptions about a person based on his or her name. Although it is sometimes difficult, it is important not to let these assumptions get in the way. It is also worthwhile to try to use the correct pronunciation of a person’s name.

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