Is That Your Opinion?

IMG_3513My husband, John Scalzi, qualifies as an expert. He is a television meteorologist with a graduate degree in meteorology, specializing in cloud microphysics, has earned his CBM, (Certified Broadcast Meterologist) from the American Meteorological Society and testifies in court cases as a meteorological consultant. In other words, he knows things.  

But here's what may be one of the coolest things about him. He still continually emerses himself, just as any scientist would, in new research. He's constantly reading, studying and learning the latest information on anything having to do with the weather. And EVEN with all that up to date data, he doesn't jump to final conclusions about things quickly.  So when he was asked this morning, after a he did a presentation to a local community group, whether or not he "believed" in global warming, he DID give his opinion.  An opinion he 1) first identified as his opinion that he 2) supported with data from the very large majority of well-respected scientists around the globe. He was non-emotional and extremely factual.

When John finished his answer, the elderly gentleman who asked the question said, "Well, I've read a lot about it and I think it's a hoax. It's just something all those environmentalists want you to believe."

John (who could have been a communication expert or a GREAT motivational speaker) responded with, "I understand your skeptism. It's a very complex issue. I encourage you – whenever you read or hear someone's opinion, check their resources. Keep looking for the science behind the opinions."

And that got me to thinking. How many times do I give my opinion about something like this when it's based in NOTHING but a feeling I have. How many times have I said someone SHOULD have done "x" – when I have absolutely no idea if "x" is practical, logical, pheasible or would have the outcome I think it would. Sometimes things are WAY more complex than they appear.

Can I have an opinion? Of course. And – if it is my opinion, then I need to state it as such. If that opinion is based on fact, I'm thinking I'd better be prepared to back it up with those facts. 

Oh, and by the way. "I read it somewhere," doesn't really qualify.




Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. I am so glad you brought up this subject, Linda, because it is a personal pet peve!  Opinions are wonderful to have and can lead to great debate and broader thinking but there are WAY too many people who believe their opinion is fact. Period.  No budging.  Kudos to John for understanding this and handling that man's opinion with such grace.  Thanks to you for the great reminder and the opportunity to share this great post!

  2. Wonderful post Linda! So true!

    We live in a world of information overload – where facts are twisted and opinions posted as facts. Thanks to the internet, you can think you are getting facts, and really be getting someone's opinion or their interpretation of the data. For every truth you think you find, you can then dig a little deeper and find a truth to contradict it. So confusing for a little brain like mine to figure out.

    I think the deeper message is in the communication of your opinion. Just as you are stating in this email. Yes, try to have an educated opinion. But understand that it's probably still just an opinion, and based on the data you have found and the way in which you have interpreted it.

    So the true moment of truth comes in before you speak – in choosing how you will state your opinion or whether your opinion is even necessary in that conversation. And then in choosing how to react to someone else's opinion when it doesn't match yours. 

    Interesting conversation Linda!

  3. You know I love that weather muffin even though I haven't had the chance to meet him yet! His answer is the essence of speaking your truth. Finding a way to say what you believe without ever making some wrong for their beliefs. And that's why I love all you ladies. You are such strong communicators who are able to beautifully articulate your thoughts, opinions and beliefs in a way that inspires others to open their minds.

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