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Whose Opinion Anyway?

I was with a group of women the other night and a conversation woke me up to the plight of some of us who seem to believe our quotes or thoughts would be better received if we attributed their origin to someone else.

So-and-so thinks …

I was talking to … and she suggested …

I can’t remember where I heard this but …

I finally said, “How about we all give our opinions instead of making someone else’s opinion our contribution?”

Then the truth erupted.

One of the women said that she always credits her father as having taught her this, that, and the other thing through a great quote (I’ve heard many of them, and they are great). She went on to say that her husband took her aside a few years ago and told her that he believes she has made up her own quotes over the years, and yet still credits her father. She then admitted to doing so.

And, then there’s me and my methodology: “I’m not sure where I got this, but …” I am such a liar. I am sure where I got this; I made it up. And it was good. But giving the credit for it to someone else seemed to make it “better.” Note to self: Never do that again.

I decided that I don’t want anyone else’s opinion from the mouth of another. That’s heresy anyway, which we all know is not allowed in a court of law, so why should it be allowed in my think tanks? Come with your own thoughts moving forward, say I to all women. Incorporate others in your overall presentation if you want and build off what they say to make it your own, which is very different from attributing your voice to someone else who you believe has more credibility than you.

So here is my quote: “My opinion has value if it’s brilliant, not because it supposedly came from a source who you think is smarter than I am.”

--Christine Merser, Managing Partner, Blue Shoe Strategy

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