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Ya, so I wouldn't touch this debate with a 10 foot pole. Then again, I don't live in the United States of America. I have medicare and am never sure what the big deal is over it???
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As a fitness professional, I interact with a ton of people on a regular basis and I can assure you that it is fundamentally more important to find a topic of connection, than to find questions that give you answers to a personality. Connection, spurs conversation that will eventually lead to a far deeper understanding of an individual, but that individual has to be willing to divulge information. That's my first and perhaps only litmus test. If this person is interesting, I should be able to find a topic of interest in a short amount of time. As you point out yourself, the limitations of this approach would run the risk of reading too much into a person too quickly. There is also something to be said for the 'Blink' approach to feeling a person out, sometimes you need to go with your gut feeling too.
Toggle Commented Oct 3, 2010 on Three More Litmus Tests at Ben Casnocha: The Blog
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Oct 3, 2010