Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - White Space

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it was an inspired moment, and things were a bit more human scale four years ago. A few years ago, I heard Jim Collins speak at the Wharton Leadership forum. It was the second time for me. I had met Collins at Fast Company Real Time in Phoenix in 2001. The same year Razorfish acquired and gutted March First. it was interesting times. It was before Collins published "Good to Great".

In a conversation with Alan Webber, which hundreds of us seemed to overhear off the main stage, Collins talked about the three circles. Where passion, what you're engineered to do, and what people will pay you for intersect - for the first time.

At Wharton, he spoke about leadership and nonprofits. He was explaining about his wife dealing with cancer, a difficult subject if there is one. Then he paused. It was a full one minute pause. There was so much story in that one pause, that I will never forget it. Ever. We all *felt* his pain, and compassion, and love. We were transformed. In one moment, we saw with our own experiences and stories. We contributed what we had brought to the conversation. It was a great teaching moment.

Valeria, I really like this post, and the John Cage analogy is perfect. In fact I tried imagining your silences in between your thoughts and paragraphs. Letting the ideas comfortably linger in my mind as I considered them. Noise seems to be something that has increased in our lives, especially in communication. Often people feel the need to fill silences, either out of discomfort or seeking advantage. So much more to be gleened from our interactions by pondering, listening, musing, and letting the silence takes its rightful place in our lives. Thanks for writing about this so eloquently (and with the right touch of silence).

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  • Since 2006, Conversation Agent focuses on business, technology, digital culture, and human behavior. At Conversation Agent LLC, I help organizations and brands that want to build better experiences tell a new story.


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