Tag Archives: African Americans

Isis is No Joke

Last night Saturday Night Live decided to take a poke at Isis. Yes, Isis that hilarious group of beheaders. Who can forget that funny moment they brought to us when they set the Jordanian soldier on fire while he was encaged. Yes, they have given us some truly thigh slapping moments. Not! They are not funny on any level. They are frightening and they show no mercy. Have we become de-sensitized to human suffering? Is everything fodder for humor? How do you think the family of James Foley took the joke? Do you think they were doubled over with laughter? Who is in the room when these ideas are pitched? Does anyone ever say no? Well maybe it’s time to hire that guy-Mr. No.

Why did #TheDress capture the world’s attention?

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Last night my daughter asked me to look at a picture of a dress and tell her the color. I mistakenly thought she was planning on buying the dress. Little did I know that I was part of a global fascination. I was stunned to get up today and find they were discussing #TheDress on all the major networks. Everyone was being asked what color do you think it is? The verdict is the dress is blue and black. The real question is not the color of the dress but how did this capture worldwide attention? Maybe we’re in search of a harmless distraction. In this world of Isis, Congressional Showdown, Drive by shootings, Political corruption and everything else just maybe #TheDress gave us a few minutes fun.

Guest Post: 7 Must Ask Questions in Any Negotiation by Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez

A negotiation is nothing more than a discussion through which both parties seek to formulate and settle upon a mutually beneficial agreement, whether this agreement is a multi-million dollar contract or simply at which restaurant to meet for dinner. Our daily professional and personal lives are riddled with negotiations, those across a boardroom table, the kitchen table and everywhere in between.

But, what sets a successful negotiator—one who comes out on top in deal-making more often than not—apart from those who struggle to gain advantages? Of course, there are numerous strategies one can employ to improve their chances of emerging victorious in a negotiation, and paramount among these is asking just the right kind of questions—those that will elicit answers that facilitate a win for all parties involved.

With this in mind, here are 7 “must ask” questions in any negotiation to best ensure a desirable outcome:

1. Would you explain the reasons for your position?
If you can’t clearly understand the other party’s reasoning through simple discussions, the best way to discern the other parties position and motivations on deal points is to directly ask them their rationale for what they are offering or seeking. Once you know the other party’s thought process and justifications, rather than just the outcome they desire, you can better adjust your strategy and response to coincide with their position. For instance, in a scenario where the other party is requiring some advance payment that doesn’t sit well with you, you might find out that they need the funds at this initial juncture to fund required material or other costs in order to put the arrangement in motion. Once you understand the logic behind requests and demands relating to a deal structure, you are better able to control discussions and create agreeable terms.

2. Is there any reason you can’t?
This is a great question to ask when you know the other party is avoiding or rejecting your offer for no legitimate reason or not having thought it through well enough. Sometimes people make shallow excuses for why they can’t do something or shoot down an idea with short-sighted objections. Most often when the question is asked this way, the other party has a hard time coming up with truly legitimate reasons that effectually negate your argument or offer. In instances where the other party does happen to come up with a viable objection, you now have the opportunity to directly address, and hopefully overcome, that objection with sound reasoning of your own.

3. Why do you think this is a fair and reasonable term or condition?
A fair and reasonable term or condition, such as a price, proposal or provision, can be defined as what’s prudent under competitive market conditions, given a reasonable knowledge of the marketplace. Fair implies a proper balance of conflicting or divided interests. Reasonable means not extreme or excessive. So a fair and reasonable term or condition is one that is balanced between all parties and somewhat moderate. If you are concerned about the reasonableness of an offer, do some due diligence to research comparables. Then ask the opposing party this question to encourage them to define and defend the reasonableness of their requirement. This will help assure you are securing the best deal possible.

4. Why is that point or provision important?
Understanding the significance of a specific point or provision is imperative, and can even result in an adjustment of your own position. The answer the other side provides will allow you to fine tune your strategy based on this key learning about their critical priorities and values. Understanding, acknowledging and validating the significance of the opposing party’s requests can not only help you recalibrate your approach, but also create more of a team atmosphere or affinity that builds a level of trust at a faster pace.

5. What part of my proposal gives you the most concern?

This can apply to a large contract negotiation, a job offer or handling an issue with a family member. Breaking an offer down into individual elements or points makes it easier to take things in small bite-size pieces versus one large chunk that, on the whole, is causing kickback. Discussing a proposal point-by-point, particularly specific areas of utmost concern, allows the parties to come to small fractional agreements that may not otherwise have been reached if you discussed the arrangement as a whole. Dealing directly with the most difficult deal points in triage mode—from the most to least problematic for the other side—shows you care. This can get you past those sticking points and greatly expedite the entire process.

6. What documentation or proof do you have to validate your position?

You may have heard the adage “Trust but Verify.” It’s important to know that what is being presented is 100% factual. The best way to determine authenticity is by verifying the facts through documentation that validates what is being presented. A trusting nature will not serve you well in a negotiation where decisions are being made based on certain claims. It’s imperative to secure documentation to back up applicable assertions. And, while cliché, it’s often true: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is an important place for skepticism in a negotiation in that it’ll fuel your need for verification prior to officiating an agreement or signing on the dotted line. Once that ink is dry, undoing a deal, however disingenuous, is far more difficult and quite unpleasant.

7. What else do you think I should know?

After you’ve asked all of the questions you intended and can’t think of any other, but you still want to ensure you have thoroughly vetted the arrangement, asking this question may induce some other points that you haven’t uncovered or considered through prior discussions and the negotiation process. There could be something you don’t know that, once revealed, might actually change your way of thinking, what you are seeking, or the strategy you originally started with.

In any negotiation, however large or small, direct communication with open ended questions is vital. People often don’t ask such questions because they fear rejection or how they will be perceived. Even asking just these 7 powerful questions above will help ensure that the agreement you reach is not only in your best interest, but also fair and reasonable for all involved.

Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International—a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills—as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation.Eldonna may be reached online at http://www.ThinkLikeANegotiator.com.

Giuliana Rancic’s sincere apology to Zendaya


This is what a real apology sounds like.

Preachers of Detroit is a true celebration of excess

Detroit is a city in crisis. The black middle class is a distant memory. It is a sad city with a bleak future, but as you drive through the city you are struck by the abandoned buildings that sometimes sit adjacent to massive cathedrals. One wonders how are these churches supported when they sit in the middle of urban blight? Friday night a new group of preachers have decided to share their experiences on primetime television. I knew I had stepped through the looking glass when one of the preachers and his family were all sporting designer sunglasses, but their dog was also wearing sunglasses and that took it to a new level of depravity. I am left with a question, why do the impoverished and the working poor continue to bring their hard earned and hard to come by money to preachers who flee the city at the sight of dusk? Why are you waiting in the cold for a city bus and he is profiling next to a Bentley? The reality of these preacher shows is they are more minstrel than ministerial, and if you look at them that way then pass the popcorn.

Kristi Capel, Cleveland anchorwoman has a “jigaboo” Problem


Racist or ridiculous? Share your thoughts.

UPDATE:http://time.com/3718876/oscars-lady-gaga-news-anchor-racist-slur/

Mitzi Miller steps down as Editor in Chief of Ebony Magazine…what’s next for the magazine?

Mitzi Miller resigned from her position at Ebony magazine today. She says she will be pursuing other opportunities. Ebony is a magazine in flux. Recently they have been attempting to sell famous photographs from their archives. This is being done in an attempt to raise money. Now the editor steps down. What’s next? Jet went from a weekly magazine to web based content to nothing. One wonders will Ebony experience a similar fate.

http://cocoafab.com/mitzi-miller-resigns-as-editor-in-chief-of-ebony-magazine/

#ObamaLovesAmerica….why this hashtag speaks volumes

I saw this hashtag on Twitter and thought why would this be trending? I knew that “America’s Mayor” Giuilani had made the statement that the president did not love this country. When the president ran for office in 2008 he was called a terrorist, a secret Muslim and his citizenship was even questioned. The right has this assault of branding the president as “other”. No other president has been painted with brush. Sure all presidents are criticized, but their love of country is not questioned. We assume that if you yearn to lead this country than it is a safe bet that you love the country. How should the president show his love. Should he use the term “Muslim extremists”, will that show his All American credentials? Maybe if he stopped saying things like “if I had a son he would look like Trayvon”. Maybe if he stopped trying to engage young people by taking a selfie in the Oval Office he might not be viewed as “ghetto.” Yes all of these things added up might make him suspect…He might be the leader of the country who does love this country and it sad to see that we need a hashtag to prove it.

Rudy Giuliani says the President does not love America…why can’t he just disagree with him?

” I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”-
– Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Why can’t he simply disagree with the president? Why does he have to question his love of country? Share your thoughts.

Why did Eddie Murphy refuse to perform on SNL40?

Sunday night Eddie Murphy appeared on the SNL40 special, but he didn’t do anything comedic. He received some backlash for it but we have now found out why he did not make us laugh. He was asked to do a Bill Cosby impersonation and he refused. The reason is he did not want to kick a man while he was down, and Eddie that is admirable.

http://www.people.com/article/eddie-murphy-not-perform-snl

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