Can you mend? How do we know?


“Do you broke?” Curious question you may be saying and even grammatically incorrect.

It could be: “do you break?”,  “are you broke?”, “were you broken” or “do you broker?”

I actually meant the last one, but with a few nods to the others.

This is how Google defines an honest broker: ‘An impartial mediator in international, industrial, or other disputes.’ We think perhaps of organisations such as the United Nations or ACAS or famous diplomats such as Henry Kissinger.

There are a whole range of commercial ‘brokers’ who undertake activities linking suppliers and purchasers, which stem from the word’s French origins.

Arguably project managers act as brokers between a range of stakeholders, resources and required tasks which they map out in a plan.

I am a knowledge broker and in a previous post I have suggested that teachers may also be knowledge brokers. Put simply, we bridge the gaps between facts, outcomes and benefits in the field of education.

So when I ask “do you broke?” I am trying to make you think outside the box. Do you ever act as an intermediary between relationships or issues or causes that are not working properly? Great if you do, as this in itself can be valuable. But …

This is where a second question comes in to play: “can you mend?”

You could go around in life pointing out all the failings of particular individuals or groups of people and assume that they will change their behaviour. English politicians have been doing this of late about teachers and other public servants. One wonders whether they are really interested in the solutions.

So ask them if they can mend and more importantly ask them what evidence they can show of this.

“How do we know?”

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