Jedrek Stepien


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What do titles do to people?

Considering that I am one step away from my first badge here @ TED, I want to ask the community how do they feel about titles and handles to the names? Is a sophisticated name of a job position also a form of a handle to the name? How does it influence people self-esteem and ambitions?

  • Mar 3 2013: It's like the packaging labels on meat in the supermarkets......

    Labels enable the store to know where to place you and allow the world to find you. The best meat in the store has no individual labels; they are in the butchers' shelves with higher $/oz. The meat has a better chance of not becoming ground meat but it's still meat!

    A question to your question.... What do titles do to YOU?

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    Mar 3 2013: I have had lots of titles. I like collecting them like a hobby. But I do not use them unless I have to. It's not the title that affects the holder, but how other people treat the title.

    I am proud of some titles and not so much of other titles. My favorite title of all time is "mom."
  • Mar 2 2013: The first time you get a new title with no raise in pay, you will learn the true value of titles.
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    Mar 2 2013: Jedrek, what do you mean by 'handle" to the name?

    For some people, a title communicates to them and to those around them what their job responsibilities are. Someone with the title "Secretary" might have a job description involving taking and distributing notes. The title "Supervising gardener" may include allocating projects to other gardeners and making sure they have the materials they need for their jobs. She knows that is her responsibilities and others know that she is the one to go to for that.

    People who have aspired to positions of leadership may accept their title with the pleasure of having reached that level of responsibility. A professor at a university knows his title communicates to others that he has a research track record of the level that that university demands of its senior faculty. When he first earns his title, he is gratified, knowing he has reached a level of attainment in his discipline for which he likely worked hard and overcame obstacles. But after that, it is only a label to which he likely gives little thought as he continues to build his expertise and research contributions to his field. The title is not the motivation- only an acknowledgement of progress.

    The effect of titles on the person who holds them must differ widely among people. Some people flaunt their titles at every possibility. I worked for someone a long time ago who had a vanity plate of his title on his car! When I was growing up, a friends father had his name with the letters B.A. after it taped on their mail box.

    Other people keep them to themselves or don't even remember what they are.

    I always prefered to go entirely by my first name. Some administrators or some settings did not permit that, unfortunately.
  • Mar 4 2013: They designate and display various levels of achievement. People will give more credence to the opinions of those with certain titles. They often give enhanced self esteem to the titled. They are useful in society in that they save time. You can listen to what Joe down the street says about economics, or you could go ask an economics professor at Harvard. Titles serve an important societal function.
  • Mar 3 2013: Sometimes I think of the titles in people's lives too.In the end of every year,all units like to gifted co-workers'titles:the best teachers in the year,the best...every title sounds halo.But in reality,I often find those teachers won the best teacher's title not really mean they are the best.And the worse is:they won the best title,they aren't conscious to know:there is long way for them to go to be the best.That's really ridiculous.
    So I think the titles you got from others not what important.But the most important you should give yourself some titles to carry on to enjoy your life.
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      Mar 3 2013: This is true. People sometimes get acknowledgement, award, or title for reasons other than merit. In extending the example you gave, a teacher might be popular for giving students high "grades" which themselves may be a label that was not earned by the true value of the work.

      A person may get lots of thumbs up from a cohort of people who lean toward that person's same biases or believes the same fallacy.
  • Mar 3 2013: Congratulations. It's like anything - Some are better than others.