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June 27, 2010

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Great post. Loved Roger's practical. I must be hungry though. That blueberry pie and lemonade are looking mighty fine!

Thank you Whitney for thoroughly immersing yourself in the work. It's a lot to learn in a few weeks, and your reviews here are spot on.

What your posts have really enforced is my needing and therefore taking the course.

I really empathized with your observation that many times our intentions of asking true open ended questions are twarted by the uncertainty of the response. I know that when I'm in a similarly stressful situation, I try to "visualize" what the potential outcomes will be, but by doing so, I may very well be sabotaging the process by limiting the outcomes to what I had previously envisioned. This serves as a great reminder to keep the probing questions truly open.

In our store's sales approach we ask a series of open ended questions. Our first few questions have nothing to do with the sale or purpose of their visit, rather it is more to get to know the customer to build trust. I find it works well. I had to train myself to ask open ended questions. It was hard at first because it seems easier to seek for yes or no questions or make assumptions. I love to practice this everyday I am on the sales floor. It really works to help people open up and to gather info.

I'm glad I got to see more about how the computer story played out -- I was going to ask you, but then I saw it here. What a victory!

On a different note, given your professional and academic background you must be an experienced negotiator, yet it seems you're learning a lot in this course. What has been the most surprising or challenging aspect of revising your approach to asking/negotiation?

In answer to Roxy, one tactical learning: asking of diagnostic questions as I said above. I thought I did this well, and I do, but not when I need it most. One strategic -- learning to negotiate is about learning to take life on, to act, not be acted upon. It is a world view. And something that I really can learn how to do. If I practice.

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  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.

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