We all name drop at times since it can be useful in getting attention and pushing someone to do what you want them to do. There's just one problem. Name dropping makes you appear weak.

It says to the other party that you realize you don't have the clout, logic, or savvy to convince them why they should work with you and address your request. It also says you realize this too - why else would you have to name drop? And based on a recent example where someone dropped my name without consulting me, it can also result in cutting off your support if the person whose name you dropped gets surprised by it.

Here's a better alternative: Talk with the person whose name you might drop upfront and ask him or her for their suggestions on how to get cooperation. They might be able to:

  • Suggest an alternative way to manage the situation.
  • Personally intervene on behalf of the request.
  • Provide some other way to show their support.

This approach means a little more work, but it's an investment in YOUR effectiveness in building relationships.