Monday, February 1, 2010

Speaking with Authority, how dangerous is this?

There is a passage in the Bible referencing  that we may be in the presence of an angel and not be aware.  This is an  analogy to remember when you are in discourse with others when you are speaking with authority, expertise, all-knowing, or blessed with all the answers situation. 
Be aware of those in your midst. (Not that these are angels, but you are getting my drift.)
Beware of who may have slipped in the back door and taken a seat to hear your presentation and they are far more adept at the delivery than you.  This happens.  You never know who might be in your audience or conversation group that just might know a bit more than you.  There may be someone in earshot who has a greater knowledge or experience in what you topic of conversation might be. I think this is why the 3rd pereson context is safe!

Let me share an experience that happened last week.  There was an occasion that a visitor to our farm spoke with great authority about how "fragrant" many of the camellias are. Oooh, that lady had no clue that in her midst was the camellia expert of north Georgia, my husband. The camellia is a winter blooming colorful collection of cultivars that have no fragrance.  Is such a shame for you are immediately prone to put your nose to their petals not to be rewarded with a great signature smell.  As far as we know there are only three cultivars that have any fragrance at all out of thousands of cultivars.
He and I  just looked at one another and said nothing.  Did not correct her.  Did not embaress her, but she will probably never know that she was speaking on a topic that an expert was listening and could smack it down like a fly on the sleeve, but chose to not go there.

This is a suggestion :  be aware of your audience and really how much of an expert are you?

Your audience deserves your best, they deserve the truth; as you know it!
I was teaching a class to some sophomore nursing students several years ago and was addressing the cascade of events that leads to blood clotting.  It is very complex and happens rather quickly, given all elements are present.  In the back of the room I did not see the Chairman of the Biochemistry department slip in to hear my lecture.  I like to have passed out when I saw him at the end of the lecture. Do you realize how slippery that slope could have been? My degrees are in Human Nutrition, not biochemistry, but was part of the lesson that date.  After the class  he said was that he was appreciative of the primer on the value of copper in that cascade. Whew!
I think many times that we alpaca breeders go off on a medical topic with our clients that is a topic really best left for the vet to expound upon.  Best to quote a vet rather than be the author of the subject matter.  As you have many births and days with these creatures you can become very familiar with their nuances.  Can lead to a false confidence.
My thoughts this date are to be careful with your expounding on topics of which vulnerable people might be influenced.  Make sure it is as well founded in truth and good motive.
As they say in medicine:  First, do no harm...........
Til next time.....

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