What’s your objection to wearing a nametag?

If it’s good enough for doctors, it’s good enough for the rest of us

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People object to wearing nametags for a variety of reasons.

They feel silly, they want their privacy, it clashes with their clothes, their hair gets caught in it, it offends their obsessive compulsive tendencies, or they simply don’t want strangers using their name in public.

My favorite objection came from a cowboy who once approached me on an airport shuttle years ago.

He moseyed up and asked what the story behind the sticker was. And after giving my spiel, he responded with a smile and a wink and said:

I’d never want to wear a nametag every day, because then I’d actually have to be good.

That’s the kind of moment that makes me want to testify before congress. If we could get a law passed that required all citizens to wear nametags, the crime rate would probably plummet.

Because now there would be no temptation for us to act from a position of anonymity. Nametags would paint people into accountable corners and limit them to only practicing honorable action.

The healthcare industry is actually way ahead of us on this front. Years ago, the state legislature passed something called the badge law. It requires health care practitioners to wear nametags during their shifts. The law reads that when providing care to a patient, the nametag must display in readily visible type the individual’s name and the license, certification, or registration held by that practitioner.

Violation of this section is a ground for disciplinary action against the health care practitioner by the practitioner’s licensing board or other regulatory authority.

The purpose, the law says, is to protect the rights of those being cared for. All patients and their family members have the right to know the name and status of the person providing their care. This ultimately helps their medical concerns to be taken seriously and addressed.

The beauty of this badge law is, it creates accountability through attribution. By directly tying professional actions to personal identity, workers ultimately make better decisions.

Because with the nametag, they’re on the hook.

Whereas some anonymous cog in the corporate machine might be more prone to negligent behavior.

What’s your objection to wearing a nametag?

Author. Speaker. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Founder of getprolific.io. Pioneer of Personal Creativity Management (PCM). I also wear a nametag 24/7.

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