The Art of Tactfully Namedropping


There are those people who seem like they can’t get through an entire conversation without dropping the name of a well-known person or company. I bet you all know someone like this. It’s an incredibly uncomfortable situation to sit and listen to someone rattle off a list of “famous friends” if they seem insincere.

In business, there are some times when namedropping is appropriate, and times where a person should be a little more humble. This is just a short list of times when you should and shouldn’t namedrop.

So when it is appropriate to namedrop?

During an interview (and even then, only if it pertains to the discussion and you didn’t bring it up)

While talking to a potential client (and you’re trying to show your experience)

While bonding over a common connection with someone who has just namedropped

If it pertains to the conversation

While looking for a connection someone may have within a company

When shouldn’t you namedrop?

While in competition with someone else

To bolster your status

In a conversation that hasn’t led in the direction of that person’s name

The key to any of the do’s of name dropping is to be authentic. If you only have met a person once, then you don’t actually know them and should not be in your name repertoire. Only namedrop a person who, if someone were to ask them, they would know exactly who you are.

I think I’ll say it again… Authenticity is key!


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