Speak Three Names
“Speak three names. And the man will do the rest.”
No, I don’t want you to put a hit out on anyone as Arya does! But giving three names can help you and help others in the process.
I try not to overextend myself. So I accept only a limited number of invitations for writing or speaking. When I decline invitations, I say no politely, but I also offer the names of three of my colleagues.
I suggest the scholars whose work best fits with the request, but I also offer names of ABD students and newly minted PhDs. As well, I make an effort to include persons of color and others who may have a more difficult time getting on the radar. Example:
Dear Dr. SaddleShoes,
Thank you so much for contacting me. Due to my current writing schedule, I am unable to accept the invitation to contribute to your commentary series. Please consider contacting one of my colleagues.
1) Aretha Turner - ABD at MoneyBags University (AT@MBU.edu)
2) Octavia Morrison - Asst Prof at Very Holy College (Omorrison@VHC.edu)
3) Otis King - Visiting Asst Prof at Far Western University (OtisKing@FWU.edu)
Feel free to let them know that I gave you their names.
I wish you all the best with your new project!
In most cases, the person who extended the invitation is delighted to have new leads, and the three people are glad that I thought of them, even if they decline the invitation.
Your no may be a yes for someone else.
And one day, you may benefit as one of someone’s three names.