I heard the wonderful Bob Garvey tell a heartwarming tale about a Mongolian friend who told him that in his culture there was a common understanding … shorten my name, shorten my life. You can imagine how being asked to be addressed as Bob might therefore present an initial difficulty – one in his inimitable understanding of excellent communication, he overcame well, of course.
I always ask people how they like to be addressed – and then follow their lead. But Bob’s story served as a good reminder to keep up with this best practice. So much nicer to check it out with the person you’re talking to, rather than to make an assumption that would offend.