by Dr. Kwame M. Brown
The below is said with love, and I mean that.
"Research Shows"… "It is a well known fact that"… "There is evidence to support"…
These are all statements I have heard time and time again to support statements that people believe. I feel it is time for me to say something as a classically trained and field experience scientist / practitioner.
"Research Shows": Does it? Which research? Does research show the opposite of what you are saying, or show it less than the research than you are quoting? If so, and you have chosen not to include that information, you are being disingenuous. Period.
"It is a well known fact that…": Is it? Very few things are well known facts, except that kids grow and learn.
"There is evidence to support": Much like #1, which evidence?
These are all sneaky statements that serve to make us sound all "experty".
I am speaking out here because it continues to be apparent to myself and others on our board that statements are often made too quickly when speaking on a subject or answering a question. And I will be frank – it is usually a short-term business decision that leads one to do that. The long term business decision is to gain expertise and always question yourself. This is hard, and won’t make you money as quickly as saying "yeah I know this".
My point: Where are you? What are your skills? What is your level of knowledge?
I say everything above not to say: "If you’re not an expert, shut up!" In fact, the opinion of a beginner is every bit as important as that of the sage, but not when it masquerades as the opinion of the sage. What I really want to say is: Don’t be afraid to say: "Hey, let me get back to you on that." The question asked is an opportunity for you to find out more, increase your knowledge. Let parents and administrations that you work with know that it’s not just about you, that you have a whole organization behind you with unlimited resources. That’s what they are paying for. I have told parents that I work with: "I am not so much. But my organization, this movement is powerful. I am a part of it. I am in representation of it. My resources are limitless."
The IYCA is only as strong as your integrity
Only as strong as your willingness to quietly go about the work of making sure that what you say and do is solid. It is this approach that makes each of us unique individuals synergistically more powerful than we could ever be on our own.