The Storm: A Leadership Booklet and Blog #8

THE STORM Chapter 8: What’s in A NAME?

“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” – Dale Carnegie


Why This Matters: Chapter 8, “What’s in a Name?” delves into the importance of names, trust, and respect in relationships. Granddaddy’s insights, inspired by his military background, emphasize the significance of using names as a sign of respect. The chapter challenges readers to reflect on their communication habits and consider the impact of trust on the depth of their connections with others.

Essential Question for Readers: “How does remembering and using names, as discussed by Granddaddy, serve as a reflection of respect and trust in relationships, and what role does self-protection play in communication habits, especially in the context of strained relationships?”


Chapter Summary

Chapter 8 of “What’s in a Name?” unfolds with Granddaddy posing a question to Dakota about his reluctance to use people’s names. Dakota, intrigued yet hesitant, agrees to delve into the inquiry. Granddaddy, drawing on his military background, discloses his covert presence throughout Dakota’s life, emphasizing it was for Dakota’s benefit.

The heart of the matter emerges as Granddaddy points out that Dakota never calls anyone by their name, opting for relational references instead. The revelation prompts Dakota to reflect on his communication patterns. Granddaddy asserts that using names is a sign of respect and questions Dakota’s avoidance of this practice.

As Dakota grapples with the question, Granddaddy suggests the possibility that Dakota’s habit may be rooted in self-protection, stemming from his strained relationship with his father, whom he refers to as “Pops.” Dakota acknowledges the defensive aspect, explaining that using titles instead of names helps him maintain a necessary emotional distance from his father.

Granddaddy extends the conversation to Dakota’s girlfriend, emphasizing the importance of trust in relationships. He urges Dakota to use Jenn’s name as a sign of respect and trust, fostering open communication. Granddaddy shares insights from his own life, highlighting the strength and support he has received from his wife, encouraging Dakota to trust and be trusted.

The chapter concludes with Dakota breaking the pattern of just saying, “My girlfriend,” and revealing his girlfriend’s name, Jenn, with a newfound sense of joy. The act of using her name to Granddaddy signifies a step toward trust, openness, and a deeper connection in his relationship with Jenn and his Granddaddy.

Chapter 8 explores the significance of names, trust, and respect in relationships, prompting Dakota to confront his communication habits and consider the impact of trust on his connections with others.



*Forgive and Forget blog/vlog:

*Forgive and Forget video:


Reflection/Journaling: Reflect on your communication habits, particularly the use of names in relationships. Have you observed any patterns in how you address people? Consider the impact of using names as a sign of respect. Are there instances where you’ve avoided using names, and what might be the underlying reasons for this?


  1. Identify a specific relationship where you’ve noticed a pattern of not using names. Set a goal to consciously use the person’s name as a sign of respect and acknowledgment.
  2. Reflect on the role of trust in your relationships. Are there areas where trust could be strengthened through improved communication? Set a goal to foster trust by using names and practicing open communication.
  3. Consider instances where self-protection may be influencing your communication habits. Set a goal to explore healthier ways to navigate emotional distance while maintaining respectful communication.

Next Steps:

  1. Practice using names in your daily interactions, starting with close relationships. Pay attention to the impact this has on the dynamics of your communication.
  2. Initiate open conversations about trust with key individuals in your life. Share your reflections and goals related to communication and trust-building.
  3. If applicable, explore ways to navigate emotional distance without entirely avoiding the use of names. Seek support or guidance if needed to create healthier communication patterns.

Remember, using names as a sign of respect can contribute to stronger connections and trust in relationships. Use these reflections and goals as a guide for fostering more meaningful and respectful communication in your interactions with others.

Dan Blanchard is a bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, TV Host, and philanthropist.

*Learn more about Dan:

*Get Dan’s FREE monthly newsletter:

*Watch Dan’s TEDx Talk, Breaking Free from Routine: How to Live a More Exciting Life