Better Questions, Listening

In Summary

“Did you understand what she just said?”  We were taking driving directions from a young woman we’d flagged down on the outskirts of Nassau. Read more »

Space Between the Notes

One evening, I went to hear the Boston Pops orchestra, Keith Lockhart conducting, play a program drawn from “The Great American Songbook,” songs made famous by Glenn Miller’s orchestra, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fats Waller, and others. Read more »

Let’s Meet in April

From the “I wish I’d written down who told me this” department: A friend of my mystery source runs a successful and expanding insurance agency who tells this story: “A guy called me in January and said, ‘My P&C insurance policy renews in February, would you like to quote on it?’ I said, ‘Let’s set … Read more »

A Matter of Intent

“I have some concerns about the documents,”  I said as our conversation began. The documents in question were two contracts running, about 80 pages each.  10 point type. Single spaced. Numbing. He treated my point as an objection he could “handle” by minimizing. Read more »

Picture Perfect

One of my 55 year old friends invested a month last summer in a photography workshop, one of many steps on her path to mastering portrait photography. Early in the workshop, she asked her instructor: “How will I take pictures that are unique?” Read more »

Existential Sales

Over my breakfast egg one morning, I read one of my son’s college application essays that boiled down to a bio-physics angst: “If we’re just clouds of electrons hovering together like so many bees in a swarm, what’s the point of anything?” Read more »

Be Specific

In which we learn to ask direct questions to elicit direct, factual answers. Last week, we invented “Nick-Speak.” Read more »

Every Time

In which we’re encouraged to focus on customer interests, even if our companies are product focused. My daughter wants to redecorate her room. Eight years ago, when we moved into the house, my wife chose the paint and trimmings for the room. Now, my daughter wants a change – the paint, the furniture, and the … Read more »

You Wouldn’t Want To Do That

In which we are reminded to ask a question and clarify before expressing a point of view. We have the possibility of bunking and entertaining some ‘snooty’ out of town guests. They asked us to reserve space in a snooty hotel. Oh, joy. Read more »

Opening Up

In which we discuss questions we can use to broaden narrow relationships. My son and I have seen a movie – a variation on the boy meets girl theme – in which, after a long period of time, the relationship broadens from long time friends to ‘more than friends.’ Deliciously awkward moments Read more »

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