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:

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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!
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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.