Friday, February 4, 2011

In My Brazen Opinion

In my brilliant courses at Simmons School of Management, I had more than one professor who noted that women often being their sentences, particularly in larger groups with "I think" or "I feel." In fact, Debbie Kolb, who taught my negotiation class, wouldn't let us continue speaking if we started our sentences that way. She'd interrupt and say "You think?"

Since then, I've made a conscious effort not to start my sentences with discounts like "I think." Since most of my work and networking takes place on line, where I can see what I'm typing, it's fairly easy to catch myself from writing it out. (Also, the brevity of Twitter makes it difficult to add in those extra 7 characters!)

So today, I thought about another self-inflicted put-down used so often on the Internet: IMHO. This acronym translates to "In My Humble Opinion." Go search Twitter right now for these four letters. You'll pull up a string of tweets on everything from Colin Firth's performance in The King's Speech to the complexity of bioethics... all of them qualified with "IMHO."

(Interestingly enough, IMHO is not limited to women users. I'd love to have the time to sample a cross-section of tweets and find out which gender uses the acronym most.)

I'm fed up with people not taking responsibility for their opinions. As I posted today:

Eric Andersen brilliantly replied with:

ha, I like that, maybe IMBO (in my brazen opinion)?

And so, I'm lobbing this out there. Let's make it a movement, a hashtag! #IMBO

Stop qualifying your opinions, and be brazen about them. If we can't lay claim to our own opinions, what can we lay claim to?

PS: Thanks to @Lipsticking and @DowntownWoman for helping to push this!

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