Name calling.

It’s not nice to call people names. Didn’t you hear that from your mother as a kid? But most, if not everyone has had a nickname at some time. They are personal, and oftentimes, kinda neat to have. I have had, and continue to have, several nicknames. In this job, L-I-K-A (for reasons I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you folks) is the common one heard wherever I go and to whomever I speak.

The foundation of a nickname is...romantic in a sense. It is particular to you and personal. When someone says it, you know to look. And that means something.

As is appropriate, we are taught to (and most do) refer to others in a formal sense (Mr., Ms., Dr.) when conducting business (or at least when first developing a business relationship). Thereafter, pending feelings of reciprocity from the other parties, I find it acceptable to call people by nicknames—created by others or you—or by their first names. And it’s happening because I hear nicknames filter in and out of conversations all the time. (Must be the ones who have already hurdled the development part.)

Take the recent FIG Congress in Washington, D.C. in April. As I walked through the halls, I heard people calling out to others with names that couldn’t possibly be their real names. Bud or Dude or Big Guy could all be heard floating through the air. But, even more personal pet names were called out and received in good passing.

It is a given that nicknames are personal and cherished, but the real name, I think, is even more special. When I pass a mirage of faces and one advances from a crowd to say my name, I am warmed and even honored in a sense. He or she remembered me, I think. Now I of course still hear, “Kiddo, young lady, Ms. Brown,” and others (L-I-K-A, Leeka, Leesha…). But, when someone calls me by my name (and pronounces it right), I am alert and comfortable with the person and the conversation.

So, call your client by his name. Develop that personal relationship. Look at the name tag of your service repair person or the clerk at the hardware store. And let that person know that you recognize him for who he is—and not just “another client” or “another worker.”

A Note About the FIG Congress

The Washington, D.C.-based event was a show for the books. People, exhibits, workshops, technical tours and the beauty of the Capitol City—all provided for a successful event in my view. I don’t know when another of its kind, with the combination of the three largest and most important organizations for the industry—and the complementary Appraisal Institute, will happen again. I hope all in attendance reaped huge benefits from networking and learning opportunities. For those who weren’t able to attend, please visit and click on our Road Show for news from and about the XXII FIG Congress, and turn to page 14 in this issue. There is far more information to speak of and report on, but these sources will give you a glimpse at the Big Show of the Year for the Geomatics Industry.

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