You and Your Avatar

After two very real face to face events in the last month with completely contrasting groups, I am struck by the challenges and the opportunities they present.  My peers come from a highly technical world .  My clients and students come from two communities that are vastly different in their technical capacity and access to technology (for economic, education, cultural and infrastructure reasons). In one they are traditional senior leadership who are resistant to change.  In the other they are eager, often young, entrepreneurs and business students from both developing and developed markets.

  I am always seeking tools to bridge their issues. My last post, in which I experimented with a tool that creates avatar based movies from text script, got some very interesting responses.  Some liked the simplicity, others bored by seeing the same tool used for games thought it less helpful, and then there was the human factor.  That is what struck me the most.  Here I am trying to bring out the human element, the people behind the machines and the tools, and I was just as guilty of creating a tool that replaces the human factor with avatars.  Shame on me.  

So I will say, thank you again for the great commentary received both online and off.  It was fun playing with the text to video tool.  I agree it is not the best to complement the message.  As to the avatars, well I have never been very fond of them.  I prefer the real faces and bodies: blemishes, wrinkles, bulges and all.   I am sure I will experiment with more and I will make more mistakes, but I hope you will call me on them and continue to be real.  That is what it is all about.  If you have suggestions of tools that I should try, please do share.  I am experimenting with many others that are used more for my classroom and clients.  But I am happy to learn of new ones that make knowledge sharing and teaching more interactive.

Here are some fun pictures of the REAL people in the last month that inspire me:

Women for Sustainable Growth

South by SouthWest

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Did you mean what I heard?

Misunderstanding is common when we speak freely without forethought. I am referring not just to what we say, but how we say it and to whom we say it to. We are taught to treat others as we wish to be treated, but in actuality, we must treat them the way they wish to be treated. In the global social paradigm we cannot assume that words, phrases or context will translate. We need to know what we are talking about well enough to re-form it to our audience. Read More

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Opportunity in Miscommunication

I have often found opportunity in miscommunication. Perhaps this comes from the simple fact of being in a bi-cultural bi-lingual marriage. When in a relationship, we often forget to confirm that what we interpret is what is meant. This is the ultimate practice of listening without judgment. Having the luxury to assume that all communications carry with them the possibility of misused language, I often take the time to try to understand what is really being said and why. This has been hugely helpful in both my relationship with my spouse and my interactions with professional and personal peers. It is easy to have an emotional reaction. I do believe that most people’s intentions are good, even if there communications skills may need some work. Sometimes we do need to remember to simply breath.

It is not to say that I never miscommunicate. Quite the contrary. But one of the most generous gifts that one can give is the chance to undo a miscommunication to understand the true intent. So I thank you who take the time to listen and let me know when I am not communicating well.

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