Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - The Leadership Conversation with Dr. Constance Goodwin

« Access in Modern Currency | Main | What Walking on the Moon can Teach us About Solving Problems »


I find myself wondering what the "active listening" skills will be like when today's "digital youth" enter the workforce. Their world moves at a jump-cut, multitasking pace. I watch my 16-year-old on the PC and he's dowloading music, carrying on multiple IM conversations with friends, occasionally playing the electric guitar in his lap, and watching the television out of the corner of his eye.

Look at a movie from the 70s (or earlier) and it will seem to move at a painfully slow pace. In the face of all this, we try to educate today's youth by making them sit still in front of a droning, semi-motivated "teacher." (No, not all teachers are like that... but some are.) If the kids can't pay attention, we medicate them into submissiveness. (Another soapbox for another time.) We don't dare ponder the possibility that the educational techniques we grew up with might not be very effective with the digital generation. (I keep imagining a hyper-fast PS2 or X-box game that teaches calculus.)

Getting back to the interview with Dr. Goodwin... she says: "Have you ever been in a conversation and found yourself counterpointing everything that is said." We've all done that, I'm afraid. Will tomorrow's leaders be able to pay enough attention to be truly active listeners?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Conversation Agent

  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on the impact of technology on business, culture, and human behavior.


As seen on

Advisory Boards

Marketing that makes business sense


Book Reviews

  • Conversation Agent participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. It provides a means for Conversation Agent to earn commissions by linking to Amazon.

Comment Policy and Social Guidelines

  • This is my blog and not a public space. Critical discourse is welcomed. However, inappropriate comments will be deleted. See my social guidelines for reference.


  • The opinions blogged herein represent only those of Valeria Maltoni and do not reflect those of her employer, persons or companies mentioned herein, or anyone else.