In the future, everyone may have an avatar–a double who does tasks that you don’t want to perform. Your avatar will make a better impression than you would and, since you program it, everyone else it deals with (who may be avatars themselves) will know that its decisions are the same as yours. In the April 11th edition of the New York Times, John Tierney quotes researcher Jeremy Bailenson as saying, "Virtual reality scientists have been waiting for these events for decades–and faster than most of us predicted, the technology is finally ready for the living room and the cubicle." The mysterious man Whitley wrote about in "The Key" (which will be published in a new edition on May 12 and available in bookstores everywhere) may have been such a machine.

Need a Raise? In this case, DON’T send your avatar–use home field advantage. OK, you’re lucky enough to HAVE a job, but you think you deserve more pay. It turns out there’s something sports teams have learned that can show you how to ask for one. All sports teams know the value of "home field advantage." In your typical work situation, this means that you should NOT ask the boss about this by going to his or her office. Behaviorist Markus Baer says, "Parties who negotiate on their home field can be expected to claim between 60% and 160% more value than the visiting party."

When Baer and his research partner Graham Brown set out to test the generally accepted theory that a home-field advantage exists, they discovered that it not only works in sports but also in business negotiations. But Baer’s research also suggests one way of overcoming home-field advantage if the location of a negotiation cannot be changed. He says, "Confidence plays a critical role in any negotiation, regardless of where it takes place. Anything a person entering a negotiation can do to boost his or her confidence is a good thing. Something as simple as participating in negotiation training may work to minimize the disadvantage of negotiating on someone else’s home turf."

Nashville is "home turf" to the Dreamland Festival, because it’s centrally located, easy to get to, inexpensive and beautiful! Come hear your favorite Dreamland hosts tell about their latest adventures!

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