Few things are more frustrating then hearing your own name mispronounced.
You want to correct the person. But you also don’t want to offend or embarrass them — especially if that person is your boss.
Though it can be awkward, career experts say you should make sure people say your name correctly from the start. After all, they point out, your name is your personal brand. That’s something you want shared accurately, especially in a work context. And the more someone says it wrong, the more accustomed they’ll become to the mispronunciation.
“It’s important to set it straight in the beginning,” says Vicki Salemi, a career and human resources expert and author of “Big Career in the Big City.” “You’re your own brand. So you want to be introduced correctly at a meeting.”
When you find yourself wanting to correct a mispronunciation, one tactic to consider is simply restating your name. This allows you to say the correct version of your name without explicitly correcting the other person.
This is particularly easy to do during any sort of introductory exchange, says Amanda Augustine, career expert at TheLadders. “Restate your name as you’re shaking hands,” she advises. If you’ve just been introduced at a meeting or other event, she adds, you can say something like, “Hello, again, my name is Amanda Augustine, and I’m from TheLadders.”
If you’ve already met the person and missed the opportunity to restate your name, Augustine says it’s best to pull the person aside and politely tell them how your name should be pronounced. “The most important thing to remember is the delivery,” she counsels. “Make sure you’re not being defensive. Always keep the tone casual and friendly.”
Finally, if you’re going to appear on TV, radio, or at some other public event, Salemi suggests preempting the chance of error by telling the person giving your introduction how your name should be said.
At the end of the day, most name mispronunciations are honest mistakes. No one wants to address someone incorrectly, so will be happy to make the correction. In that sense, it’s your duty to others as much as to yourself to let people know if there’s an issue.
“If you don’t correct someone else’s pronunciation, no one else is going to do it for you,” Salemi says. “They might not even know they’re saying it wrong.”
What are your most pressing workplace challenges or concerns? What questions do you have on how to get ahead in your career today? Email the Business Insider Careers team at [email protected], and we’ll find the answers.
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