What’s Your Nombre, Hombre?

Salud (sah-LOOD)


William James said the deepest human need is the need to be appreciated.


There is a lot of truth in that.


So… how do you turn that into an actionable item on your To Do List for mañana? Few of us can simply jot down “Appreciate co-workers / satisfy deepest human need” and then proceed to make it happen.


Let’s start with the first step: Do you know their names?


Now don’t go and get all defensive on me. I don’t mean literally every human on the job. We both know there are guys on the jobsite you see nearly every day…. and you have no clue what their names are. If there was a multiple choice test with their names… You’d pick C. And you’d be wrong. You know who they work for and you know why they are there, but there names could be…


Marky, Ricky, Danny, Terry, Mikey, Davey, Timmy, Tommy, Joey, Robby, Johnny and Brian.


Or it could be Willie for all you know.





So here’s what you do:

STEP 1: Find the Label Baby Jr aka Label Maker

STEP 2: Keep it on your desk at the office

STEP 3: Print names for the Foremen and guys you see every day

STEP 4: Then bring it to the Toolbox Talk; print names for everyone else


For the English-speakers, say this: Whassyer name? Fer yer hardhat.


For the Spanish-speakers: ¿Tu nombre, hombre? Para tu casco… 


Nombre (NOHM-bray) rhymes with Hombre. Yeah… just like that sweet Mannish Isuzu truck.


Mi nombre es Hombre.


This will achieve a few things. One: you’ll meet everyone. Again. For the first time. Two: This act will naturally infer accountability. I know what you do… and now I know your name. Three: If you decide to throw in a short, “Thanks for your help on this job.” during the dead-air time while the label is printing out, you will have succeeded at delivering some appreciation. This one sentence may not completely stroke their deepest human need, but it’s a start. This one sentence may not turn your jobsite into a construction-version of Cheers, but with all that beer you still have in the fridge from the holidays…. who knows?



Sometimes you want to go…. 


Where everybody knows your name, 

and they’re always glad you came. 

You wanna be where you can see, 

our troubles are all the same 

You wanna be where everybody knows 

Your name. 


You wanna go where people know, 

people are all the same, 

You wanna go where everybody knows 

your name.



What’s your nombre, hombre?



Bradley Hartmann is founder and el presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com), a Spanish language training firm focused on the construction industry. He likes Good Will Hunting, Accountability and his Label Baby, Jr.


Categories: Jobsite Leadership

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