Saturday, December 27, 2014

Problemist Supplement article index: Community Service

title: Cliffords Tower on top of a hill in York; source:; taken by Petr KratochvilChess as a confrontation between two players is just a small subset of a larger chessboard and chessmen universe. Chess problems are a delightful close cousin to the board game and are mostly awfully devilish too. Newcomers frequently need some sort of guidance to enjoy them and there are some good books on chess problem solving out there. However, one great resource that has been recently made available for free is the The Problemist Supplement. Over the years it has accumulated a trove of articles related to solving, composing and enjoyment. As a community service I've decided to index the articles from issue 1 to the time of this post for easy reference.  The supplements themselves can be found here: A complete index on the flagship publication can be found there as well. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Debriefing a sales call

title: young businessman holding a clipboard and pen; take by: Benjamin Miller; source:
We all want to get better at what we do. Well, most of us do; those who don't can skip this post.  One of the crucial parts of getting better is checking what we are doing right now as this is the basis for either tweaking or wholesale overhaul.

Sales calls & negotiations are just two more areas that can be practiced and improved. To do just that I drew up a debriefing script for my own use. I had noticed that if I didn't  go over or review my last meeting, I would go on repeating the same mistakes and unprofitable old habits. Since I didn't want that to continue, I decided to bring out to the open whatever routines I was using and, hopefully, use them as steping stones.

As there is no harm in sharing, here it goes.

  1. Step by step description of what happened (no judgements at this point)
  1. Frame them:mine
  1. Attitudes
  1. Postures, body language throughout
  1. What went right?
  2. What went wrong?
  3. What tecniques you used?
    1. What were their effects?
    1. What other ideas could have been used?
  1. What were their concerns?
Were they adequately addressed?
  1. Poise, delivery
  1. Goals achieved
  1. What were the tangible results?
  2. Tidbits obtained
  1. What can be practiced?
What can be fixed?
  1. Grade
  1. If you'd go for the first time again, what different?
  1. To do/further steps

Even though I came up with this, I myself do not find it easy to go over the points. Maybe the resistance is indicative of useful debriefing. Going over the points right away might be best for recall, but I find that I have a cooler head on the next next day.

If you find this useful, feel free to link back.