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4.3 out of 5 stars
What If?: Short Stories to Spark Diversity Dialogue
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2011
First, let me say I purchased this book after hearing Dr. Robbins speak at a conference. He is an outstanding speaker with a tremendous message. Unfortunately I didn't feel his talents translated well to written form. Far from the "inspirational, lively, and sometimes deeply personal" stories promised on the cover, the actual stories are just average.

It seemed like Dr. Robbins was reaching to present the everyday events of his life (of all of ours, really) as if they were profound in some way. For example, the story about his failed attempt to write his favorite songs to a CD was hardly inspirational. The story about his young son's inability to correctly pronounce "Buzz Lightyear" was cute, but really didn't grab me by the lapels. And he stocked a pond with fish and they died because he didn't take care of them. Yes, he connects these every-day occurances to larger, important principals, but the connections felt forced and somewhat contrived.

See him in person: DEFINITELY! He's the best speaker you will ever hear.

Read his book: maybe. Just understand that the written form is not nearly as good as the real thing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2008
This book isn't of the typical academic nature that makes you groan about having to learn more about diversity and inclusion in a work environment. It's an enjoyable read of 26 short, humorous stories that provoke thought in a way that gently challenges those who have never engaged in meaningful I&D dialogue. Complimenting each story is a set of discussion points and exercises that can be done in small groups - again, in a way that isn't invasive or intimidating.

I do think that certain diverse communities aren't as covered in this book as much as others, but it's still fantastic!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2008
Over twenty-five inspiring lively personal stories anthologized in "What If? Short Stories to Spark Diversity Dialogue" deftly illustrate concepts of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, using anecdotes and visions to put key learnings into action in a business structure. Each story is paired with questions, an activity and an assignment to reinforce ideas, making for a fine, light business reading title.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2010
I enjoyed this book very much, so much that I'm prompted to attend a workshop held by the author at his center in Michigan. The stories (as well as the story of his life) were very moving. I recommend the book for everyone.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I liked how Dr. Robbins shared personal stories then was able to dig deeper and compare it the work place. I was also fortunate enough to be in a book club with Dr. Robbins being the facilitator. He is certainly a dynamic speaker! Thanks!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2013
I had hoped that the stories and questions would have been more challenging for a workplace setting. We may be able to use 2-3 of the stories for discussion at an outreach and inclusion team meeting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2011
The personal stories in this book provide a great way to engage in conversation, but the inability to loan the book limits my ability to share the information in some ways and get others on board.
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on May 11, 2015
I thought Dr. Robbins' book was very insightful, easy to read, and provided an opportunity for personal and group reflection that could actually bring about change in one's attitude toward others. His stories were often humorous and I felt like I got in inside view into the author's life, which I enjoyed, especially since Dr. Robbins has experienced the importance of inclusion first-hand. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a better understanding of "diversity" and how to change one's own or one's organization's perspective about why inclusion matters.
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on April 6, 2012
I purchase a copy for each team member. Each member was assigned a chapter to present. It sparked much conversation, and saw much better interaction among different members. Chapters are short, interesting stories and how they relate to the workplace. Very thought provoking and a good conversation starter.
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on January 23, 2013
This is a great teaching tool. The lessons shared in each chapter are written in a way to draw one into to consider different perspectives. The can humor disarm anyone that may have their defenses up to thinking outside of what they know.
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