Leadership

9 Power Questions that Will Help You Build Better Business Relationships

 

Just a few years ago, globalization was in full swing, and the world seemed to be bursting with an infinite supply of business. All this bounty lulled us into taking our customers for granted, maintains Andrew Sobel—until the economy tanked and shattered the illusion of endless prosperity. Suddenly, the old-fashioned “trusted relationship” started to look good again.

“In this post-Madoff era of unpredictability and suspicion, people are looking for deeper, more intimate, and more engaged relationships—the kind that reduce risk,” says Sobel, author (along with coauthor, Jerold Panas) of Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others (Wiley, February 2012, ISBN: 978-11181196-3-1, $22.95) and three other books on long-term business relationships.

“This is true of customers but also vendors, employees, and other business partners,” he adds. “The days of getting in, making money, and moving on to the next guy are over. When times are tough and the future is uncertain, people want to put down roots and partner with people they truly like and trust.”

Bottom line: In today’s markets, the most valuable commodity is the ability to connect with others and rapidly build trust. And that begins by asking the right questions.

“Asking questions and letting people come up with their own answers is far more effective than spouting facts or trying to talk someone into something,” Sobel explains. “Telling creates resistance. Asking creates relationships.”

In his book Sobel explores dozens of questions that light fires under people, challenge their assumptions, help them see problems in productive new ways, and inspire them to bare their souls (which, of course, strengthens the bonds in the relationship).

Here are nine ways questions can transform professional and personal relationships:

  1. • Questions turn one-dimensional, arms-length business relationships into personal relationships that endure for years. “When a relationship is all business and there is no real personal connection, it lacks heart and soul,” says Sobel. “And therefore you are a commodity—a kind of fungible expert-for-hire. A client—or your boss—can trade you out for a new model with no remorse or emotion. But when you’ve connected personally, the situation is transformed because clients stick with people they like. Bosses hold on to team members they feel passionately about. Your expertise and competence get you in the door, but it’s the personal connection that then builds deep loyalty.”Sobel tells the story of a senior partner in a top consulting firm who had to meet with the CEO of a major client. Other consultants were nipping at their heels to get more business from this company. This powerful, confident CEO, who was in his 60s and near retirement, had seen hundreds of consulting reports. At the end of a routine briefing, the senior partner paused and asked the CEO, “Before we break up, can I ask you a question?” The CEO nodded. The partner said, “You’ve had an extraordinary career. You have accomplished so much, starting at the very first rung of the ladder, on the manufacturing floor. As you look ahead—is there something else you’d like to accomplish? Is there a dream you’ve yet to fulfill?”The CEO was nearly stunned. He thought for a moment and replied, “No one has ever asked me that question. No one.” And then he began talking about a deeply held dream he had for his retirement. That question was the turning point in building a long-term, deeply personal relationship with an influential business leader.
  2. • They make the conversation about the other person—not about them. Most of us don’t care what other people think—we want to know first if they care about us. The need to be heard is one of the most powerful motivating forces in human nature. That’s why one of Sobel’s power questions is, What do you think? Another is, Can you tell me more? “There’s an anecdote I love about a woman who has dinner, in the same month, with two great rival British statesmen of the 19th century, Gladstone and Disraeli,” says Sobel. “When asked to compare the two men she says, ‘After my dinner with Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in the world.’ And then she adds, ‘After my dinner with Mr. Disraeli, I felt as though I were the cleverest woman in all of England!’ “When you make the conversation all about you, others may think you are clever,” he adds. “But you will not build their trust. You will not learn about them. You will squander the opportunity to build the foundations for a rich, long-term relationship.”
  3. • They cut through the “blah, blah, blah” and create more authentic conversations. No doubt you can relate to this scenario. A person says, “I want to bounce something off you.” Then, he proceeds to spend ten minutes telling you every detail of a very convoluted situation he is enmeshed in. You do yourself and the other person a favor by getting him to focus on the true kernel of his issue. Simply ask: What is your question? “This is a tough-love question,” admits Sobel. “People will resist it—often strenuously. But you must ask it. It forces them to take the first step toward clarifying what the issue is and what advice they really need from you. You’ll reduce the amount of posturing people do and will move faster toward an authentic conversation.”
  4. • They help people clarify their thinking and “get out of the cave.” The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates said that we perceive reality as if we are chained inside a dark cave. In that cave, we see only the blurred shadows of life outside the cave as they are projected on a dark wall at the back. Our understanding of reality is filtered and distorted. By asking a series of questions, Socrates would engage his students’ minds in the learning process. In this way he uncovered assumptions and slowly but surely got to the heart of the issue. The “Socratic Method” is still used at Harvard Business School—and it can enable you to help others see the true reality instead of shadowy representations of it. Instead of saying, “We need to improve our customer service!” Sobel suggests asking: “How would you assess our customer service levels today?” Or, “How is our service impacting our customer retention?” If someone at work says, “We need more innovation,” ask, “Can you describe what innovation means to you? How would we know if we had more of it?” Or if there is a call for more teamwork, ask, “What do you mean when you say ‘teamwork’?”
  5. • They help you zero in on what matters most to the other person. The next time you’re talking to someone and realize you’ve “lost” her—she’s fidgeting, she’s stopped asking questions, maybe she’s sneaking glances at the clock—ask this question: What is the most important thing we should be discussing today? You will instantly connect with what really matters to her—and the conversation that ensues will help her see you as relevant and valuable. “Even if your agenda doesn’t get met, hers will,” asserts Sobel. “And then she will want to enthusiastically reciprocate. In business it’s critical to be seen as advancing the other person’s agenda of essential priorities and goals. When time is spent together on issues that are truly important to both parties, the relationship deepens and grows.”
  6. • They help others tap into their essential passion for their work. One of the highest-impact power questions you can ask is, Why do you do what you do? It grabs people by the heart and motivates them. When they seriously consider and answer this question, the room will light up with passion. Dull meetings will transform into sessions that pop with energy and generate ideas that vault over bureaucratic hurdles and create real impact. “We do things for many reasons,” writes Sobel. “But when you put ‘should’ in front of those reasons, you can be certain all the pleasure and excitement will soon be drained away. No one gets excited about should. In contrast, when you unveil the true why of someone’s work and actions—when you get them to start sentences with ‘I love to’ or ‘I get excited when’—you will find passion, energy, and motivation.”
  7. • They inspire people to work at a higher level. The late Steve Jobs was notorious for pushing employees. He asked people constantly, Is this the best you can do? It’s a question that infused Apple’s corporate culture from the beginning. It’s one that helped revolutionize the desktop computing, music, and cellular phone industries. And it’s one that you can use too—sparingly and carefully—when you need someone to stretch their limits and do their very best work. “Often, we settle for mediocrity when we need to do our best,” reflects Sobel. “Mediocrity is the enemy of greatness. Asking, Is this the best you can do? helps others achieve things they did not believe possible.”
  8. • They can save you from making a fool of yourself. Before responding to a request or answering someone’s question to you, it’s often wise to get more information about what the other person really wants. When a potential employer says, “Tell me about yourself,” you can bore them to tears by rambling on and on about your life—or you could respond by asking, “What would you like to know about me?” When a prospect asks, “Can you tell me about your firm?” the same dynamic applies. Most people go on and on about their company, but the client is usually interested in one particular aspect of your business, not how many offices you have in Europe. Ever seen someone answer the wrong question? It’s painful to watch. Asking a clarifying question can save you huge embarrassment. “A potential client asked me for the names of three references to call,” Sobel tells us. “Instead of running around and drumming up the names, I pushed back, and asked, ‘What particular information are you seeking? Any references I give you are only going to rave about me!’ It turned out the prospect had no interest in actual references. And in fact, had she called my past clients under that pretense, it could have been potentially embarrassing to me for them to make such a big deal about a small speaking engagement. What she really wanted to understand was how other clients of mine had tackled the organizational resistance she was expecting. This question—and the subsequent conversation—turned a small lead for a keynote speech into a major, year-long project.”
  9. • They can salvage a disastrous conversation. Sobel’s coauthor, Jerry Panas, recalls the time he asked a man named Allan for a million-dollar donation to his alma mater’s College of Engineering. Though he knew better, the author failed to gain rapport and explore Allan’s true motivations before jumping in with the big request. When Allan rebuked him for his presumptuousness, Panas realized he had made a serious error. He apologized, left the room, and twenty seconds later knocked on the door and asked the power question, Do you mind if we start over? Start over they did, and Panas ultimately discovered that Allan might indeed be interested in making a gift—but to the University’s theater program, not its engineering program!

“Things like this happen all the time in business—and at home,” reflects Sobel. “Interactions get off on the wrong foot, and someone gets angry or offended or just shuts down. But people are forgiving. They want to have a great conversation with you. Asking, Do you mind if we start over? will disarm the other person and make him smile. That smile will ease the way to a new beginning.”

One of the greatest benefits of becoming a master questioner is that it takes a lot of pressure off us, notes Sobel. It’s a huge relief to know that you don’t have to be quick, clever, or witty—that you don’t have to have all the answers.

“All business interactions are human interactions,” he says. “And part of being human is acknowledging that you don’t know everything about everything—and that you certainly don’t know everything about the other person and her needs. Questions help you understand these things more deeply.

“The right questions unleash a cascade of innermost feelings and vibrant conversations,” he adds. “They help you bypass what’s irrelevant and get straight to what’s truly meaningful. They make people like you, trust you, and want to work with you—and once you’ve achieved that, the battle is already won.”

She Combines Entrepreneurship and her Love of Cuban History to Start a Blog in Havana

Digital Newspaper‘Follow your passion’ is a phrase that may be just overused these days whether it is to get a job or to get ahead in your career. Generally speaking, when someone follows their passion, they seem happier about themselves and have a better outlook on life. It is risky to even say that a passion can turn into entrepreneurship.

Some people may be able to find their passion early on in life, others later on in life and some never find it, or never recognize it.

For Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, she took her interest in Cuban history and has launched her own independent digital newspaper, ‘14ymedio’. ‘14ymedio’ tells about Cuba from inside Cuba and overall, inform the people.

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It was not only her interest in Cuba that led her to start a digital newspaper, she has become a critical voice recognized outside of the island because of Generation Y.

A challenge that Sanchez faces is that all mass media are controlled by the state. Furthermore, only independent publications that circulate on the island belong to the Catholic Church. What’s more important is that the internet has become a way for people to express their ideas and share what they care about to keep everyone informed.

LATINO COMMISSION ON AIDS LAUNCHES 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION WITH MISS UNIVERSE, PAULINA VEGA AS THE NEWEST MADRINA

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This past Wednesday, April 15, Macy’s officially kicked off its 25th anniversary celebration of The Latino Commission on Aids with Miss Universe 2014, Paulina Vega as the newest Madrina during a reception with prominent personalities and media. The Latino Commission on Aids is a nonprofit organization dedicated to meet the health challenges and the impact of HIV/AIDS in the Hispanic community.

Miss Universe, Paulina Vega thanked the commission for this honor and distinction, saying she embraces the commitment and the responsibility that comes with being an spokesperson and a madrina of the institution,

I am a woman eager to do things, I am passionate and authentic, I have no masks

she said in reference to the work she will do on behalf of this important cause.

Paulina Vega, Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission On Aids  and Macy's executives

Paulina Vega, Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission On Aids and Macy’s executives

Guillermo Chacon, President of The Latino Commission On AIDS, welcomed and thanked guests for their support to the cause and to the thousands of Latinos affected by the disease,

We have come very far in the past 25 years and we are very proud of the work done, however, we recognize that there is still a critical need for our work, Said Chacon.

On May 15, the commission will have the important gala Cielo Latino at Cipriani Wall Street. This gala event is the largest fundraising for the cause of AIDS in the Latino community.

Miss Universe, Pauline Vega and The Latin Trends Publisher, Juan Guillen, Magazine Editor Maria Luna and journalist Deyanira Martinez

Miss Universe, Pauline Vega and The Latin Trends Publisher, Juan Guillen, Magazine Editor Maria Luna and journalist Deyanira Martinez

For more information on its 25th Anniversary event, visit: www.cielolatino.org or to donate go to bit.ly/cielogala2015

Vanessa Gonzalez-Plumhoff

Director of Latino Leadership and Engagement, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Born and raised in West Texas, Vanessa got her first real taste of the power of organizing while attending Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas — hosting an unsanctioned town hall meeting to give students the opportunity to openly air their concerns about the administration and propose solutions.

After being bitten by the political bug, Vanessa continued a career in politics and the government sector, building a legislative portfolio to include health care and honing her skills as a communications professional.

After a stint on Capitol Hill serving as Communications Director for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and serving in senior roles for various Democratic campaigns, Vanessa remained in Arizona working on the legislative team for then Governor Janet Napolitano.

Falling in love with Arizona, Vanessa attended graduate school at Arizona State University, obtaining both her Masters’ in Social Work and Public Administration. Vanessa’s focus was early childhood development, and she worked hand-in-hand with immigrant families, providing therapy for children with developmental delays between the ages of 0 to 5. The opportunity to work with these families, hear their stories of struggle, and too often of violence, is an experience Vanessa brings to all her work. These families’ personal stories, coupled with the constant fear of deportation and other burdens imposed by Arizona’s out of touch politicians, further strengthened Vanessa’s resolve to use her life, her privilege and her skills to fight for those who often felt that they had no voice.

In her role at Planned Parenthood, she works to ensure that all women have the information, education, and care they need to make their own personal medical decisions, especially when it comes to sexual health and family planning. She works to expand and strengthen partnerships with Latino-serving institutions and advocates to advance Planned Parenthood’s mission and commitment to women’s health. She also acts as a key advisor for Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide to help deepen their relationships with the Latino community.

More importantly, Vanessa was instrumental Planned Parenthood’s multimedia campaign to help Latinos learn about and enroll in the Affordable Care Act. Vanessa co-created the Raiz Outreach Program, a grassroots organizing program for Latinos in the 5 states with the highest Latino populations in United States to better access they care they need. Under her direction and personal hands-on, organizers knocked on 3 million doors and 715,000 Latinos were provided information and tools to enroll in affordable health care coverage.

Also on behalf of PPFA Vanessa worked with the National Council of La Raza, the League of United Latin American Citizens, Enroll America, and the White House to convene 65 Latino enrollment summits across the country.

Vanessa advocates on behalf of Latinos in support of legislative issues that advance women’s reproductive health and rights.

Vanessa and her understanding husband are the proud parents of a very vocal toddler and make their home in Washington, DC.

Giselle Blondet is 50 and Fab!

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We all know this Latin bombshell Giselle Blondet, as an elite actress and powerful business woman. Well now we can add successful published author to that list.

Releasing not her first but her second book entitled, “Tengo 50…Y que?!” speaks for itself expressing to the world through not a template biography but through an reader friendly journal of life experience filled with her triumphs of tears and laughter. Achieving what many consider to be a self-fulfilling women empowering movement – a new opportunity to re-invent themselves.

My favorite quotes would be: “Do something crazy for love…” and “Dance in the rain.”

Whether your curious in reading the book or trying to get yourself out of a rut Giselle is an example of being 50 is Fabulous! Either way have much to gain from her learning from her experience and inspirations.

“America by the Numbers”, a new TV Series on the Change in the World

flag-globeThe way we watch TV has changed dramatically. From black and white to color, from standard to HD, the television that many of us once knew now seems obsolete. Just as the technology of the television has changed, so has the kind of shows. Many channels were the news before there was cable and talk shows. Now there are reality shows, competitions, music networks and so much more. The television these days also features several documentaries like September 11th, The Graduates and other world events that are important to people today.

Have all these changes to the television change people over the decades. Of course they had. In a way, more people are aware with what is going on and how pop culture has changed the way we think today.

Documentaries on television are not as new as reality television, but there will be a new documentary series, “documenting America’s changing demographics. Hosted by award winning journalist, Maria Hinojosa title, “America by the Numbers” will take a deep look into how “minority population is changing life in America”.

The series will begin in Clarkson, Georgia where there are, “40 nationalities within one square mile, the size of Hoboken, New Jersey. Another half hour episode will feature the Pacific Islanders and how tough it is to recover from when soldiers come home and are wounded from the war.
These types of shows go deeper than the traditional news and even report on some things that are not mentioned.

Yes, the textbook may offer some insight on topics like diversity and minority, but having a journalist seeing it first hand, shows just how more real the topic becomes. Minorities live among us and this may be the only way we hear their story.

Representing: A College Student Wins Journalism Award

awardIt is easy to find talent among a group of people, but it is harder to find really good talent that captures the essence of the overall perspective. Some writers have this natural talent and can dig deeper into a particular topic and write something that is very compelling.

Annually given, the James Aronson Undergraduate Award for Social Justice Journalism is an award that, “honor original, written reporting that brings to light widespread injustices, their human consequences, underlying causes, and possible reforms.”

This year’s recipient was given to Angely Mercado, a senior at Hunter College in New York. One of Mercado’s stories, Hunts Point Landlord Forcing Out Tenants, the judges had cited and also, her stories mirror around, “exposing the struggles of residents against landlords, management companies and private equity groups that prioritize profit at the cost of safe and sanitary living conditions in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx.”

Mercado has written for The Hunts Point Express and interned for the Mott Haven Herald.

Other award recipients were David Carr for career advice and Andrea Elliott for her series chronicling the life of a homeless 11 year old girl in New York.

The HISPA Role Model Program

Ivonne Diaz Claisse HISPABeing or becoming a role model does not happen overnight. Like anything, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and motivation to keep the momentum going. Great leaders start with the youth that are inspired by others in some way to achieve great things and having programs that can jumpstart it, makes this possible. One such program is the Hispanic Role Model Program where founder and President, Dr. Ivonne Diaz-Claisse was able to sit down with Latin Trends to talk more about this program.

LatinTrends (LT): What is your role within the Hispanic Role Model Program?
Ivonne Diaz-Claisse (IDC): I am the President and CEO of the non-profit organization HISPA, which stands for Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement. As our name suggests, we are dedicated to contributing to America’s future by inspiring Latino students’ academic success. With our HISPA Role Model Program, we have built a network of Latino professionals who serve as active Role Models in the classrooms of the communities where they live and work.

LT: Why was the Hispanic Role Model Program started and how long has the program been running?
IDC: The official program started in 2008 as a way for professionals to give back to the community and the goal at the time was to get 100 volunteers in 100 hours, which was reached. We just recently had our 5th kick-off event in New York City in September 2013.

LT: Are there certain requirements for becoming a role model?
IDC: Role models join us through our partnerships with Employee Resource Groups, Alumni Networks and Professional Associations. The requirements to become a role model are professional development, have a high level of employment, academic achievement and involvement with government. It is about mobilizing people that can educate and tell their professional story with the youth.

LT: In what states can prospects find your program and what youth group does the program target?
IDC: Our program targets students that are in middle school and we are located in New Jersey, San Antonio, Texas, and most recently, New York (New York City). Overall there are about 1,000 registered volunteers.

LT: Why are you extending the program to New York? Are you targeting any specific areas?
IDC: Approximately 40% of students in the NYC Public School system are of Hispanic background so the need for Hispanic role models is great. Many of our role models are in STEM careers so they will share their educational and professional stories in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. As funding allows and is secured, we will be expanding to more areas.

To find out more information about the program check out HISPA.

‘Zeke’ Montes: Advocate for Latino Literacy Passes Away

Apart from being a businessman and publisher, Ezequiel “Zeke” Montes was an activist and advocate of the Latino community who wanted to help as many people as he could. Sadly, Montes passed away last week of respiratory failure after battling pneumonia for a few months.

Founder of a Latino publishing company, Montes was CEO and President of Tele Guia INC. in the windy city of Chicago. Tele Guia INC., holds three successful Latino publications entitled: El Imparcial Newspaper, Tele Guia de Chicago, and Guia Telefonica. El Imparcial, Montes second publication was acquired so that the Hispanic community remained informed about both their schools and government.

Montes’s career began in 1985 when he began a Spanish language television guide which led to his business expanding into publications which saw to the creation of Spanish language yellow pages and newspapers.

“He would always sacrifice his own publications to help other publications,” said Esteban Montes—one of Montes four children—who remembers his father’s endeavor to see other Hispanic publications (much like his own) prosper, “He would never put himself first.”

Montes role in the world of publication was one of business and personal. Remembering his father work hard, Montes notes how his father wanted to give Latinos a voice. One way Montes was able to give voice was by devoting himself into becoming an advocate for Latino literacy. The ways that Montes sought to promote literacy among Latinos was through the creation of the Latino Book and Family Festival which saw an estimated 25,000 of attendees annually.

Steve Franklin, a former Chicago Tribune journalist and ethnic media organizer for the Community Media Workshop, remembers when he worked with Montes on a Latino news project that worked to bring smaller publications together in order to share resources that would go out across the greater Chicago area. Franklin describes how Montes, “worked feverishly on the national level to help the Latino news media.”

Survived by his wife and four children, Ezequiel Montes will surely be missed but hopefully his contributions will inspire those he has touched to give back the same way he has.

Carmen Sepúlveda Powers Up Public Relations/Social Media and Becomes Partner at d expósito & Partners, LLC.

Carmen Sepulveda, who in May of this year took the reins of the Public Relations and Social media Department at d expósito & Partners, adds the title of Partner to her role as Chief Communications Officer.

“Today we are happy to announce that Carmen is officially becoming a Partner,” said Daisy Expósito-Ulla, Chairman/CEO of d expósito & Partners, LLC. “She brings years of proven leadership in the public relations discipline and an entrepreneurial spirit to lead the department.”

“Carmen has a proven track record of mastering the art of public relations to place a brand favorably in the public eye. Now, she is applying those same skills to drive consumer engagement with our clients’ brands through social media,” added Expósito-Ulla.
An acknowledged expert in the field of multicultural communications, Sepúlveda’s career has enjoyed many successes working for Fortune 500 companies, among them AT&T, Reebok International, Kraft Foods, Sears Roebuck & Company, Whitehall Robins, and Best Foods. Among the leadership roles of a career that has spanned both the agency and corporate worlds, she helped build the largest public relations agency in the Hispanic market for The Bravo Group. She also served as VP of Diverse Markets at JP Morgan Chase Bank and, later on, as AVP of Branding and Campaign Management for MetLife Bank.

In 2002, she co-founded Act-é Marketing Solutions, Inc., showing year-over-year growth under her leadership. At Act-é, she serviced accounts such as Pfizer, Colgate-Palmolive, Verizon, U.S. Department of Commerce, Census 2010, the NYS Office of the Governor, El Diario/La Prensa, and the National Association of Hispanic Publications.

“I am excited to be a part of an agency whose growth is so remarkably fast-paced,” said Sepúlveda. “It is exciting to be creating personal relations and social media campaigns to connect brands to communities, both digital and location-based, especially since multicultural audiences are a driving force,” concluded Sepúlveda.

Among the Industry recognitions she has been awarded are NYC Women’s Agenda 2004 Galaxy Award; Women Entrepreneur of the Year by the NYS Federation of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; El Diario/La Prensa’s of New York Women of Distinction Women’s Award in 1996 and in 2006; Outstanding Latina Women in Media by the National Association of Hispanic Publications; and CEBA Corporate Advertising Award among others.

Carmen is also a co-founder of the Hispanic Public Relations Society of Greater New York, Inc., and she serves as Marketing Chair of the American Diabetes of Greater NY Latino Initiatives and is a Board member of the American Diabetes Association.

About d expósito & Partners, LLC
d expósito & Partners is an integrated, full-service communications agency with a fresh business model designed to help clients win Hispanic consumers and optimize ROI. It is an independent, minority- and woman-owned firm that provides in-language, in-culture and English-language communications programs. Dubbed as The New American Agency TM, d expósito & Partners aims to be the clients’ agency catalyst for winning consumers in today’s dynamic marketplace. Providing a complete dedication to a new, critical way of looking at the fast-changing consumer landscape, the agency ensures excellence in marketing while creatively leveraging cultural insights for a total market solution in our digital age.

Facts Matter…and Mitt Romney Didn’t Deliver Them

While Mitt Romney’s rhetoric may have sounded polished tonight, it just wasn’t true. On issue after issue, Romney avoided giving specifics and, in several instances, told flat-out falsehoods.

It’s no surprise why – the more Americans learn about Mitt Romney’s plans to raise taxes on the middle class to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, to eliminate Wall Street reforms that protect middle class families from the abuses that caused the recession, and to repeal Obamacare with no plans to help individuals with pre-existing conditions, the less likely they are to support him.

Facts matter and Mitt Romney is unwilling to give them to the American people.

What People Are Saying:

CNN’s David Gergen: “Romney was just sort of flat out lying.”

Los Angeles Times: “The Romney campaign has refused to say which loopholes it would close, and Romney did not clear up the question Wednesday.”

Bloomberg News: “Romney’s tax plan can’t add up.”

CNBC Fact Check: “Romney again tonight did not say specifically how he would pay for his proposed across the board tax cut.”

The Washington Post: “Mitt Romney needs to spend a little more time with his budget reports.”

Los Angeles Times: “Fact check: Romney repeats erroneous claims on healthcare”:

Chicago Sun-Times: “If, however, you score Wednesday’s debate on substance — accurate facts and honest arithmetic — Obama more than held his own.”

Fact Check‏@factcheckdotorg Romney says he will pay for $5T tax cut without raising deficit or raising taxes on middle class. Experts say that’s not possible….

Rachel Weiner ‏@rachelweinerwp Fact Checker: Romney says “six other studies” have found his plan can be revenue neutral, but he’s wrong about that. http://wapo.st/UGjQeh

Matt Yglesias ‏@mattyglesias Romney’s tax plan is basically 2+2=5.

Los Angeles Times ‏@latimes Fact check: Romney’s tax claims challenged by nonpartisan report: http://lat.ms/RBZyUT (via @LisaMascaroinDC)

PolitiFact ‏@politifact We looked at whether five studies back up Romney’s tax plan. Mostly False. Our review: http://ow.ly/ecKPd #debate

PolitiFact @politifact Reputable study found Romney’s tax plan can’t reduce overall rates AND raise same revenues. Our check: http://ow.ly/ecpR4 #debate

PolitiFact @politifact Is Romney plan for future Medicare a voucher system? Mostly True. http://ow.ly/ecMuu #debate

Fact Check‏@factcheckdotorg Romney said Obama “cut” Medicare by $716B but cuts in the future growth of spending prolong life of Medicare. http://ow.ly/ecMJ8

PolitiFact @politifact From the archives: Rick Santorum said Romney adviser admits Romneycare was blueprint for Obamacare. Mostly True. http://ow.ly/ecNPm

PolitiFact ‏@politifact Obamacare is a government takeover of health care? That was the 2010 Lie of the Year. http://ow.ly/ecO9V #debate

Michael Crowley ‏@CrowleyTIME Romney closes with pretty dishonest warning about defense cuts

Jonathan Cohn ‏@CitizenCohn Sigh. Romney not telling the truth here. Pre-existing conditions NOT covered under his plan http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/107049/romney-pre-existing-condition-obamacare-repeal-gregory-meet-the-press …

Ezra Klein ‏@ezraklein Around 89 million Americans would likely be left out of Romney’s “preexisting conditions plan,” such as it is. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/10/who-would-be-left-out-of-romneys-preexisting-conditions-plan-about-89-million-americans/ …

Chicago Sun-Times Editorial: Editorial: Romney wins on style, Obama on facts

Los Angeles Times: Fact Check: Romney’s tax claims challenged by non-partisan report

Bloomberg: Romney Tax Plan Needs Growth to Add Up: Reality Check

Washington Post: Romney off on deficits

Los Angeles Times: Fact check: Romney repeats erroneous claims on healthcare

Talking Points Memo: Romney Backs Away From Own Tax Plan

ESPN and Time Warner Cable Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by Helping the Local Community in NY

Last Friday September 21, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, ESPN Deportes, Team ESPN, and Time Warner Cable hosted a community event to rebuild the Jerome Hardman Day Care Center in Queens, NY.

ESPN and Time Warner Cable employees volunteered alongside, ESPN Deportes’ NFL and NBA expert Alvaro Martin, to paint walls and a special mural on the play area, build planters for the front of the building, and assembled library shelves for the children’s library. The volunteers also executed a mini soccer clinic with the kids.

In addition, the two companies donated a KaBOOM! Imagination Playground to the organization.