Remember that first day of school when the teacher did roll call for the first time? If you had an atypical or hard-to- pronounce name you do.
And now, if you’re an Isla, Siobhan, Xiaoping or Quvenzhané, you may be encountering a persistently annoying problem at work — coworkers, bosses and clients mispronouncing or misspelling your name.
Here are some tips on how to correct people:
1 Include a phonetic spelling of your name in your e-mail signature and social media profiles. You can even add a fun tip to help people remember, like “Glain —rhymes with shine, not rain” (just ask 2018 Imagine Your Workplace Conference speaker Glain Robert-McCabe).
2 Correct people right away. Nothing is more awkward than properly introducing yourself six months into a work relationship. You’re more likely to not speak up if you don’t know what to say. Don’t leave those awkward conversations up to chance; prepare a pat response. You may find it heartening to watch famous people do this. For example, watch the American actress Gillian Jacobs explain that her name is pronounced with a hard “g.”
3 Be patient and don’t give up. If someone is still saying your name wrong because you were too shy to correct them, or they just can’t get it right, don’t give up. Just politely, but firmly, point out that they have been saying your name wrong.