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Thursday, May 17 • 10:55am - 11:40am
Being Understood while we Wait for the Babel Fish (a.k.a. Plain Talk for Geeks)

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In The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the protagonist can understand anyone, thanks to a peculiar fish stuck in his ear. Too bad it's fiction. While we wait for someone to develop such a device, for real, the best tool we have is conversation. That's not always a dev's greatest strength or highest priority. The stereotype of technical professionals as inarticulate and socially inept is unkind and inaccurate. In this interactive session, we'll do our best to squelch that image as we explore ways to consciously adopt behaviours that position tech professionals to be heard and understood.

Face-to-face communication is the most important tool we will ever use in business. (Sorry Jira.) Upgrading that tool can increase clarity, diminish anxiety and reduce misunderstanding. In this lively session, Sue will introduce you to simple techniques that can prepare you for effective conversations that promote shared understanding and improve working relationships. Small adjustments can lead to big improvements in the way teams work. And that contributes to better outcomes. Bonus - effective communication improves personal relationships, too.

You will discover: how to make your ideas meaningful to others by taking their perspective, how shifting your language from "What?" to "So What?" helps people "connect the dots," and why giving up the need to look smart may be the smartest thing you ever do  Warning: There will be interaction. But, sadly, no Babel Fish.

avatar for Sue Johnston

Sue Johnston

Idea Monger, It's Understood/Leanintuit
Sue Johnston's interests have always been communication and teamwork. After a journalism career, she held senior management roles at two Canadian banks, where she was involved in large scale change initiatives and technology implementations. That's where she discovered that the critical... Read More →

Thursday May 17, 2018 10:55am - 11:40am
Conference Room C