>> Thursday, June 18, 2009
Aron asked: How do I ensure I am not miss leading my audience?
When the potential for misleading comes, there are two ways (that come to my mind). First is to provide inaccurate data. That's something you can address by making sure your data comes from a reputable source andmaking sure your data is up to date. I also recommend giving any data the "smell" test - does it makes sense to you? If it doesn't, perhaps you should hold off until you understand it better.
The other way that comes to mind has to do with how you present your opinions, i.e. as something other than your opinions. You, of course, can have any opinion you like. You don't technically have to couch your opinion as an opinion. But, I like to make a distinction between what I know and what I think or believe. That doesn't mean you have to, but, keeping the clarification crystal clear is a way or minimizing the possibility of misleading your audience.
For some of us, we also strive to go one step further, by taking the time to think and examine our opinions, testing them, challenging them. Why? Because having a reasoned and thoughtful opinion is, in my opinion, better than having a thoughtless ill-considered one.
If one is stating an opinion, might as well make it a good one. And, as others challenge it, if you're in the habit of challenging yourself, you are more apt to listen to different points of view. And nothing is more conducive to improving your opinion than a mind open to new data, new opinions and new perspectives.