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Communicating Effectively in the Age of Digital Distraction

Full Transcript

Amanda Steinberg, CareerScope President (00:00:04): Hello! My name is Amanda Steinberg and I am the brand new president of CareerScope. My official first day was last week, so you don’t know me yet, now you do. We are just working through a bit of housekeeping, making sure that no one has any technical issues attending. If you want to keep your cameras on, we love seeing your faces and if you don’t want to, no problem. I must admit, I have a lot of excitement and resistance to this topic. As a multitasker, I’m here both as an official representative of CareerScope and also as a student. I don’t think I have ever engaged in any curriculum specifically around how not to get distracted by notifications.

(00:01:09): I was speaking with Jeanine before we all gathered here today, and she brought up something poignant… that the work that all of you do, especially interacting with your clients or your students, those who are on their career and life planning journey… it’s an emotional subject. And in this day and age, given all of these distractions, when we have difficult emotions, it’s extra tempting to be pulled into distractions everywhere because it allows us to separate ourselves and protect ourselves from whatever difficulties that we are navigating.

(00:02:16): But as we all know intellectually that being present is one of the greatest, if not the primary, greatest service that you can provide for those with whom you are serving. And so we are delighted to play a small role in the enhancement of your capacity to serve and your capacity to be successful by helping you create distinctions and open up your mind and hopefully enjoy this hour that is really dedicated to you learning how as am I. Next I’m going to introduce Jen Dalton, who is going to introduce our guest speaker today. Jen, please introduce Professor Turner so we know who we are here with.

Jen Dalton (00:04:28): Absolutely. Thanks Amanda. I am honored and thrilled to have Professor Turner join us today. She was my professor in communications at Georgetown and truly brings a wealth of knowledge, decades of research expertise, and empathy. Not only is she a professor in the McDonough School of Business and the CCT, the graduate school of communications, culture and technology. And she’s also a part of the Georgetown University Pivot program, which works with returning citizens. And so what she’ll share today from her book Being Present to help us think about how we show up for others, especially when things are stressful or chaotic or they’re in pivotal moments in their life. So with that, this bestselling author and very dear friend, I’m going to hand it over to you, Professor Turner, please take us away.

Professor Jeanine Turner, Speaker (00:05:27): Thank you so much and I really am so excited to be here. Thank you. So Jen, and congratulations, Amanda. So excited for you. I’m especially excited to talk with you that are here to talk a little bit about the challenge around careers, talking about careers because it’s such a personal, very intense conversation that can create a situation where people are very vulnerable because they’re trying to think about how do I know if what I want is also what I’m good at, which I think is actually what’s really interesting, my understanding of career scope and I’ve got a chance to do a little bit of the testing. It really has highlighted some of the challenges that could have in a conversation because you’re trying to help navigate a person’s capability and then also their passion at the same time. So the reason I think about that a lot is I think and I touch, I have a little bit of insight to the kind of things that you all are doing on a daily basis.

(00:06:30):As Jen had mentioned, I’ve worked with the Pivot program. So the Pivot program is a certificate program at Georgetown that we offer for recently incarcerated individuals. Some people maybe have been three to four months, other people 30 to 40 years incarcerated. And so they come out to do an entrepreneurship certificate type program. It’s a year-long program, and then they get a chance to have an internship. I come about six months into the program and I help them think about their transition story. So while in DC you’re not allowed to ask if someone’s ever been incarcerated or what they’ve been incarcerated for or what the issue was, they often know that the person’s been incarcerated in the Pivot program. And it’s the question that people are thinking about when the person is in this interview for their internship. And so my role in my communication class is to help them tell their transition story.

(00:07:28):What is their pivot story? How did they move, help me understand the kind of situations that led to their incarceration. And then what have they done to kind of pivot and then how do they see these skills and what they’ve done in the past helping this future employer? I’ve learned so much from those conversations and am humbled and honored to be a part of those conversations. But I often see in those conversations a real vulnerability and fear and people are very scared of having a conversation around what can I do and what do I want to do, and is it okay to even want something if I can’t do it or if I can’t do it, why should I want it? And how do I navigate that conversation? I also work with Georgetown students in the C C U program in this digital presence class where we help them take an interdisciplinary interdisciplinary program where they’ve taken classes from in a lot of different places and now they’re trying to figure out what’s their narrative coming out of this program.

(00:08:30): And so they all come from very different spots, whether it’s they want to go to a think tank or they’re from journalism or political communication or consulting, and they have very different backgrounds. I see the same fear and uncertainty and vulnerability when they have to talk about their past and how it connects in. So it’s like this very challenging kind of conversation. And then also that really has attracted me into this video environment. I’ve worked in telemedicine, looking at doctor patient communication and teletherapy and how people use telemedicine as a mechanism for communication and challenging. And I appreciate Jamie. I agree it’s an incredible role, humbling role. And also I’ll have to tell you, I’ve learned more about storytelling and how storytelling makes such a big difference to how we see ourselves and how we understand our role to others. It’s been incredible, I think I’ve learned more than anyone else.

(00:09:34): So I am super thrilled to be a part of that program. So when Jen gave me the opportunity, talked to me about the opportunity to talk to you, my biggest excitement was I see that you’re at the front lines of these kinds of conversations every day. This is a piece of what I do, but this is a big part. This is the majority of what you do as you’re trying to help people navigate these conversations. I imagine that a lot of this conversation has changed since Covid. I’m thinking because of the infrastructure diffusion of this technology that allows us to have more flexibility in terms of how we meet. So I’d love it if you would just add into the chat what percentage of time you have a physical in-person kind of connection with people and what percentage of time you’re going to be connecting over Zoom meets, something like that, a video.

(00:10:30): So I’ll just give you some time to think about it. Just tell me about what percentage of, is it half the time or most of the time or just give me an idea. (reading from the chat window) 75% in person, 25% virtual.. most in person … back to a hundred percent …. Mostly in person… mostly in person, back to 100%. … Mari, 90% virtual, some in person. It’s a big range. Okay, so now, all of you that have said “mostly in person,” how much have you found people distracted by their digital devices while they’re in person? So they’re on their phone, they’re checking their phone, they’re distracted. Yeah, exactly. I’m telling you, that’s all I deal with all the time. What’s important for us to recognize is attention. This idea of attention, just because we’re physically in person or physically present doesn’t necessarily have an impact on the way that we’re attending. And so that’s why this idea of presence is so important.

(00:11:54): Some people use tools as a mechanism for engaging. , but that digital device can also pull you away from conversations or texting or some other type of cognitively intense behavior. So this is what I’d like to do today. I’d like to share with you some of this very fast pace that we’ve seen change as a result of technology and its impact on the way we’re interacting. And then I want to take some time to think about how we choose presence to be more effective. And again, I’d love to hear your questions.

(00:12:45): I’d love to get you to engage with the conversation. So please jump in at any time. And as I show the slides, I might not see the chat. So for people that see a chat in the window, please let me know and we’ll definitely talk about it. Okay, so what I want to do is share a little bit. I’m going to share these slides here. And so as Jen mentioned, I’ve been doing a lot of research on social presence, and I started way back when I started looking at telemedicine and doctor patient interactions about 30 years ago. But then over time I’ve seen more and more change in the way that people are integrating technology in the way that they interact. In fact, I did this study back in 2006, which seems like forever ago. And I asked people, how do you access information?

(00:13:38): How do you learn about what’s going on in the world and how do you access information? And in the morning you had television, radio, and newspaper, then there’s a little blip of television in the afternoon and then television, radio, newspaper in the evening. So you had concentrated times of focus somewhat in terms of the way that you engaged one year later, one year later with ubiquitous wireless computing. This is what it looked like. And so this is prior to social media, prior to Facebook, prior to any type of platform that you’re familiar with. Now, this is just being able to get out to the internet and look at your email. So immediately people no longer were completely connected to the way they were engaged. And I have great examples of this. This is 2005. This was when Pope Benedict was announced in St. Peter’s. You see one person with a flip phone in the far right side, but everybody is there physically and present, kind of engaged in 2013 with Pope Francis immediately, you’re there physically present, but you’re connecting to people that are not present or you’re taking pictures.

(00:14:49): Immediately your sense of connection has changed dramatically. This is Running with the Bulls in Spain in 2017. Now, you’re not allowed to have a phone if you’re going to run with the bulls, it’s a $300 US dollar fine. But here you see this bull ready to pounce on these rudders who have fallen and you see where their phones are and people have circled the phone to show you, and they’re going to take a picture right before they die so they can post it to their social media. Next, these are zombie lights that you find in Tel Aviv. New York City has these as well. They keep you from walking across the street if you’re looking at your phone so that if the light is red, then the zombie light is green, knowing that it’s safe for you to walk across the sidewalk.

(00:15:46): So what we are seeing is this increase, and I saw that in the chat when you were saying people often are distracted by their phones, you yourself are distracted by your phones now. I mean, you’re constantly trying to deal with it. The fact that you can be reached anytime, anywhere. And so what it means is we’re engaging in what we call multi communicating, where we’re engaging in multiple conversations at once. We might be texting while we’re in a conversation, emailing while we’re on Zoom, we’re checking social media while we’re on a call. We can choose to mute our cameras. So that allows us to get more things done in the background or be more open to getting other things done. So we’re almost normalizing this idea of being in multiple places at once. And we’ve seen this affect our family life and people being disconnected. We see it affect our friends and the way we engage in dialogue with each other.
(00:16:37): And we saw it even more so in terms of March of 2020. So in March of 2020, huge change where everybody was forced to reinvent how they worked and how they were at home. And so you had this collision of work and home and we developed many habits during that time that we still use all the time. And those habits were created in a very scary situation when we didn’t actually know what was going on in the world with this global virus. We didn’t know what was happening. Often in our family situations, we’d never had work and home collide the way it did at that time. And so as a result, we are often trying to manage impressions in many places at once. And so we started using our phones and checking our phones and trying to be available to all these different constituents that needed us on our phones.
(00:17:31): And in doing that, we normalized a behavior which we probably would’ve never engaged into to that extent. So now we are two years out, while we are still 100% back in person, many of you, we have these behaviors of it’s okay for me to be in multiple conversations at once because we’re almost suggesting that in many ways we moved into this kind of tunnel vision approach. I’m focused on my needs, not necessarily the needs of the person I’m with. I’m valuing this idea of anytime, anywhere, communication, because I can have access to all these different people in my life, engage with them in different ways. And so I want to be open and available at all times. And so what has happened is even something that requires a focused dialogue like me talking about my career and thinking where I’m going and what am I good at, what I’m not good at, what could be helpful for me, and maybe I have to talk about something that I’d like to do, but I might never be able to do because not going to be able to get the schooling or I’m not going to have the aptitude or I’m not going to have the opportunity.
(00:18:39): Those are very challenging and tough conversations. There’s two things that we have available to us now. If I don’t want to have the conversation, I can distract myself. And then also if I’m in the conversation, I’m so used to checking my phone that even if I want to be in a conversation with you and have complete connection with you, I have this feeling that I have to check my phone or I feel like I have to because there’s other people in my life that are expecting me to check my phone in a specific time and I need to get back with them. Even though we talk about this, we’re coming back from Covid and we’re back in this place all the time. What I really think we’ve seen is a change in physical presence and the way we’re present and what makes that challenging is it puts us in multiple places at once.
(00:19:26): So we have this idea that we can be in many places at once and cognitively we absolutely can’t do that. So we feel like we can because we’re able to efficiently manage it, and you can focus for a 10th of a second. You actually can focus only for a 10th of a second at any one time. But your mind is actually working right now three to four times faster than I can ever speak. And that’s why I’m a fast talker, because it bugs me. You’re thinking about something else right now. But with that extra time, you can say, oh, I kind of know what she’s talking about. I’m going to check my email. Or Oh, I kind of get a sense of what she’s going to say. I can check this phone. And then you can get drawn into these other conversations. So this compartmentalized conversation keeps us from being in dialogue in the same way.
(00:20:11): And most of the research says that if I am talking with you and then I notice you look at your phone or look at your device, I am going to be less likely to share with you. Now, most of you are in a counseling position, so you’re not checking your phone when you have a client in the room, but a client might be checking the phone when they’re in the room with you and that as much as you’d rather it didn’t. And even though you’re trying to dismiss it, that has an impact on your ability to engage because every time they look, it pulls you away from the conversation. You’re thinking, why are they disconnected from me? So it’s making a huge impact on the way people interact. I had one person tell me about a college student, and then in addition to this, we’ve had people less and less comfortable face-to-face.
(00:21:02): So I had a college student tell me, I feel more comfortable connecting with my therapist over a video because I don’t have to drive over there. I don’t have to think about how I’m going to see a therapist, and this was in a telepsychiatry situation, and I can sit, I don’t have to sit in the waiting room, think about how I have to see a therapist. It just makes me feel bad about myself. So for this person, just the drive over to an office or the walk over to sit in this office knowing that you have to be in an appointment about this specific issue right now, made them rather be over video so that it’s almost like they can cancel some of those things out.

(00:21:40): A therapist, when I was talking with them that this is a person that was doing teletherapy, they said, I told my clients about the need to focus in the session and they say they are focusing, but I hear them ordering drive-through in the background. I could hear that one of my clients was at Walmart, the other was driving her daughter to soccer. So this idea that even though we’re, once we were untethered physically present, then we almost felt like that we could do all these multiple things at once, even though we would never ever conceive of doing that in a therapy session. I’m going to stop here for a second just to ask if any of you that are in that same kind of environment, if you’ve dealt with some of those challenges where people, for those of you that are a hundred percent virtual, and tell me what that was like. Rebecca, you said absolutely. What was that? Do you make conversation? Do you have a conversation about guidelines for how you’re going to do a video call? Oh my gosh, I had the clients do appointments in the car. Sure.

Rebecca Clarke (00:22:46): Do you mind if I talk instead of type?

Professor Jeanine Turner, Speaker (00:22:49): Please go ahead. I love it.

Rebecca Clarke (00:22:51): Go ahead. I have people all the time we work with employment, so I have people all the time who are either at work or there’s so much distraction in the background that I can’t even understand a single word they’re saying, and then coworkers are chiming in. It’s really, really, really hard sometimes. But yeah, I always say it. I’m like, yeah, when you’re ready to be present and let me help you, we’ll start again. But there’s no way to help when there’s so much distraction in the background.

Professor Jeanine Turner, Speaker (00:23:25): Right. And Bill, you said that you’re working inside the prisons, is that right? Let’s see, bill, yes. Okay. So what I think is the minute that you said you were there and Bill was saying that people obviously don’t have phones in that space, but it’s not that people aren’t distracted there. And then obviously Bill, you’re saying you’re doing virtual classes as well. I mean, I think what we have to recognize is that since the time of Aristotle, we’ve been distracted. That’s why we talk about logos, pathos, and ethos. So I promise you that things that people are happening, something that’s going to happen later in the day, something that’s happening right then, something that just happened, that’s a very intense environment that Bill goes into every day. All of us have other types of distractions that we have to deal with. So it’s not that we are not distracted in other contexts and that this is new because we have cell phones. It’s just that it’s accelerated because of that, and we are not even realizing how distracted we are. And the fact that you have clients that are having other coworkers chime in, they’re in a drive-through, they’re driving thinking that they can really focus on a conversation like this shows that we really don’t have the same sense and understanding of different demarcations between types of conversations we want to have and the type of presence we need in those conversations. Does that make sense?

(00:25:04): Family members and they’re, oh, yes, the person steps out. I don’t go, they don’t hear. And that’s such an important issue because you can’t, and that’s only because you could see them, right? Because you could see them in the video background. I had that same thing where a therapist was saying she was on a call with a child and the mom said she had to go pick somebody up from soccer so that the daughter just brought her laptop down the steps, kept talking, and then while they were getting ready for soccer, and then now she’s on her phone, switch her phone so she could get in the car. And then she asked the mom, she often would talk to the daughter and then talk to the mom at the end of the meeting. And she said to the mom, she said, well, I’d like to talk to your mom.

(00:25:59): And she said to the mom, well, the mom, she’s like, well, it looks like this isn’t a good time. You’re obviously driving. This is maybe not a safe time. And she goes, oh, no, no, no, I’ve got it on hands-free. As if that made it okay with her entire group of kids in the car. So I think what’s really important for us to recognize is that there’s this very big disconnect on what different types of presence we need for different types of conversations. What my research was trying to better understand is how do we think about how to create the right type of presence for the right conversations? And one, let’s see, bill, I start virtual meetings with instruction disconnect for folks. And I think that’s exactly right, bill, you can either type it here or if it’d be easier for you to talk. What is it that you do at the beginning of the virtual meeting itself or do you do it ahead of time as part of your conversation to set up the virtual meeting?

Bill Hobbs (00:26:53): No, basically what we do is when we’re holding our virtual meetings, when we get everybody in the room and we talk about disconnecting from the phone, setting them aside, getting a pencil and paper out, get it ready to go, and also to if they’re in a quiet space, make sure that the door shut so they’re not having any outside distractions so that when we’re moving forward, it’s not distracting not only to the participant themselves, but the other people that are on the zoom call. So it works fairly well, but it’s never a hundred percent

Professor Jeanine Turner, Speaker (00:27:27): Sure, and I think it’s because it’s hard for people to give it up. And then it’s hard to almost require that I had a third grade teacher who she took attendance with the cell phones. So basically she had this little, like you put a plastic thing over a closet door to put your shoes in. She had something similar for all the kids to put their cell phones in, and there was only one girl that she had to see if she was actually there, everybody else that she just would check the phones and if the phones were there, then she knew the kids were all there. And then she’d had to find this one little girl that didn’t have her cell phone, didn’t have a cell phone, and that’s how she would connect with her. So I know Jen’s familiar with the school situation, just I’m crazy with the schools.

(00:28:13): So what I thought about is when thinking about presence, what I thought about is we actually have multiple choices, and what I want us to think about is this. And I think what you’re also talking about very much is this idea of creating a dialogue space, but I think there’s actually four choices available to you. So the first one is budgeted presence. That’s where I’m basically multi-communicating. I’m engaging in multiple conversations at once. I’m on my phone while I’m also doing something else. I’m on a zoom while I’m also emailing. Many of you might be on your lunch hour right now. So you’re eating, you get the chance to listen in to this call. You can’t put your camera on because you’ve got other things you’re doing because you have to manage your situation. Almost created a context where we are overwhelmed with messages.

(00:29:00): So there’s certain times of the day you have to be in what I call budgeted presence. You’re allocating certain parts of your presence to certain people in certain contexts. So we are intentionally saying this is what we’re doing most of the time, that’s our default state. When we’re not in budgeted presence, we’re either in one of three. And the first one I’d like to think of, I call it entitled, which is essentially what most of you say when you’re saying, I’d like you to put your phones away and we’d be focused on this conversation. The reason why I call it entitled is that you are setting the stage for this space. The reason you can set the stage is because you person’s enlisting your help as a therapist. And so they’re almost paying you to ask them to take this space or they’re investing, even if they’re not monetarily paying you, you’re through a school system or something like that.

(00:29:53): They’re investing this space through this appointment time. They’ve agreed to this appointment time. So it’s not so much like you’re saying put this away in where they’re thinking, why should I have to put my phone away? You are completely focused on me. But we have to recognize that a lot of times when we try to control someone else’s environment, sometimes it can backfire. You definitely saw this with return to work situations where companies said, Hey, everyone, come back to work. You have to come back without really a conversation or dialogue about why we have to come back, what are the best ways to come back? We’ve been doing this for two years, why should we have to come back now? So there’s a lot of pushback because people don’t like to not be in control. What the phone and actually Covid gave us is a lot of control over our everyday tasks, a lot of agency.

(00:30:43): And when you tell someone to put their phone away, you’re kind of trying to take that control away from them in a teletherapy situation. Obviously in a coaching situation, their commitment to the conversation is a part allowing you to do that. But sometimes, for example, me, if I have a bunch of executives in a class and I’m teaching exec ed, there’s no way I’d say “Everybody put your phones away right now.” There’s no way I would say all of you, everyone has to put their cameras on. I need to see everybody’s face. I would never in a million years ask that because who am I to ask for that social presence from you at this time? I mean, you are in control of that. So we can use entitled space, but we have to be careful because it’s really hard to, it doesn’t always work very well.

(00:31:32):  You have to think about how you do it. And so think about the way you share it, explain about it. The other two choices are competitive and invitational. Competitive is really what I’m trying to persuade you of something. I’m trying to get you to do something. A lot of sales presentations or thinking about anytime you’re trying to sell a strategy or an idea with someone, you’re basically trying to think of why does my audience need to care about this? What are they interested in? What is relevant to them about what I’m trying to say? And then the fourth one is invitational. And the reason why I want to spend the most time on invitational, because invitational is dialogue space, partnership space, and it’s the time you spend, the most time you’re in when you’re in a coaching therapy situation, what I’ve seen is the more we’re in budgeted presence, the less we will ever get to invitational space because a partnership requires a dialogue and engagement.

(00:32:28): What I want to show you is this video, I’m going to stop here. So Akia did this really interesting video on thinking about how social media communication technology has impacted the way we have deeper conversations. And it came out in I think 2018 at Christmas time. It’s actually in Spanish, but the subtitles are there so you can kind of recognize what’s happening if you don’t speak Spanish, but it’s very, very telling. So I’m going to share that and think about the impact it’s had on all this distraction has had on how we can move to dialogue. So let me share this with you. I sound video. You should be able to see this…

‍Professor Jeanine Turner, Speaker (00:36:13): So loud. Hold on one second. So I love your thoughts about that video. I see people are putting in, I know you know what, I’m going to hold on. You know what I’m going to do because you should all share that with your families before Christmas, before Thanksgiving. Hold on, let me put this in so you have it. Here is the video link. Okay, so this is what I want you to think about. As counselors, you could be one of the few people that many people have an invitational conversation with. It used to be you had conversations with friends, with your family members, with your parents, maybe with your a close friend. What’s happening is we are actually not having what I call invitational conversations, and I’m going to put the word in here so we can remember. We’re not having what I call invitational conversations, which is where we are partners, where I’m in a dialogue with you, where we’re sharing.

(00:37:26): And to have those conversations, we have to have what I call a safe situation, safety, value and freedom. So I’m going to put this in. So I’m value and freedom and what I mean by that, and these are on the slides too, which I’ve shared, but I’m happy to share to make sure everyone gets a chance to get the copies of these. But safety is when I feel free and comfortable sharing what it is. I want to say I feel valued that people really care about me and what I want to say, and I feel open freedom in that. I feel that what I could say, even if I say something that’s not agreed or if something people don’t agree that they’re going to be open to hearing what I have to say. And I think that that is what’s so challenging is we don’t really have a lot of practice and if someone looks at their device, it immediately makes for an unsafe space.

(00:38:25): So let’s see, Karen, the point you made is you need to listen also. Absolutely right? What it requires is this partnership of listening and you are trained in listening as a counselor, you get training in listening, your job is listening. You have to basically, I’m going to show you this point. Let’s see, share this really quick to show when you’re a counselor, you’re basically emptying your cup. So when I think about when you have to be ready to listen, you can tell, but not really. This one cup on the right is full and this cup on the left is empty. So a counselor basically has to empty out their cup of all these other things they’re thinking about and overwhelmed and a million things so that someone else is full so that they can talk. So that means you’re curious, you’re focused on the speaker, you don’t have another agenda though.

(00:39:25): Then you have to also be thinking about, okay, how I’m going to take what they’ve learned and then share back with them with ideas about how I can help to influence them. So you’re going back and forth all the time. That’s what makes coaching or therapy so hard is because you’re actually having to constantly transition back and forth. Most people are full all the time, so they don’t know how to listen. They don’t know how to empty their cup. They’re constantly overwhelmed. They have competing agendas. And what I am finding in my research, because people are in budgeted presence, most of the time people don’t even have practice of what that conversation looks like. When I do an exercise with undergraduates, well everybody but this one specifically with undergraduates I noticed is I have people and when I do it with executives and MBAs, oh, they totally connect when I do it with undergraduates, it’s sometimes different.

(00:40:24): So I basically say, I want you to pretend I want you to pair up. One person’s going to talk for two minutes about anything they want, and then the other person is going to listen in the first minute. They have to focus and listen very, very, very well in the first minute. Very good listening. And the second minute, not good listening. So basically I have a timer and I basically turn off. I basically say, okay, stop listening. So then everyone just starts looking at their phone. So in the first minute you have this intense conversation and the second minute everyone is distracted by their phone. Most people hate the second minute like, oh, this distraction. Many of the undergraduates don’t like the first minute, minute of intense eye contact and engagement is too much for them. It’s like they feel like someone’s almost stalking them.

(00:41:21): They are not used to conversations, they’re not used to dialogue. And so when they get in a conversation with you one-on-one about something that’s so personal and so connected to who they are and maybe brings up ideas about what I can and can’t do, it’s a very, very scary and hard conversation. I know. Thank you so much for letting me know. My kids are like … stop talking and I’m sure feeling the same way talk so much. But the main thing that I want us to think about, and I think what you could think about is I want you to walk away thinking about what recognize that a very insidious kind of diffusion of smartphones and technology has changed the fabric of not only how we have conversations, but how we are capable of having conversations. And so it requires much more conversations about how we have them.

(00:42:24): So even Bill’s conversation about how I set ground rules about what I want this conversation to be at the beginning, and that’s why I don’t want us to be on our phones or thinking about helping people recognize that in their conversations they’re actually not used to the type of deep intentional conversation that you might often put them in. Maybe a high anxiety situation that you maybe even five years ago wouldn’t have created the same kind of anxiety as it does in people. Now the US surgeon General says that anxiety is an epidemic no surprise with the way social media has taken over the way people engage, but also the way we don’t even understand how to engage with each other. So I know we’re getting close to the time and I just thought I’d open it up for questions or comments or thoughts of how your reactions to this, ideas around how you could be intentional about being socially present and what kind of your concerns about it.

[Q&A](00:46:23): How do we create a certainty of value for letting go of the technology, embracing the potential to truly connect? Craig, that’s the ultimate question because a conversation takes time to develop, and I actually might get in a conversation say with Deborah, Deborah and I are having a conversation and we’re getting to know each other, we don’t know each other very well and we’re trying different topics and we might talk for 20 minutes and we never get to a deeper enough level, and I think we never really got there. And so as opposed to a sure thing, which is on my phone, but it also means that I’m not going to get the chance to have it find that opportunity with Deborah, and we don’t even value that impromptu conversation. Even when all these companies have come back in person full time, many of them complain that they spend all day on Zoom.

(00:47:16): So it’s not as if we don’t structure interpersonal dialogue, we don’t structure time for it. Even for those of you that have these video meetings right before the video meeting, right after the video meeting, people don’t stay on for extra time. So I think what I’m really worried about is the way we’re losing our ability to dialogue and then in that way we’re maybe losing our ability to have empathy. And at the very same time, and this is a whole big topic to be bringing up at the very end of this call, but at the very time that we are losing our ability to be empathic, AI is getting better and better at being empathic. So if I went into an AI therapy tool and said, I’m really worried about this, what do you think I should do? It is going to come back and say, wow, I can see why you’re concerned.

(00:4814): And that’s concerning also, and maybe you should consider this, and not to say that you have to compete with those tools, but many of us will be finding ourselves competing with those tools for empathy because we’re not in a situation as parents. Our kids will be able to get more empathic answers from AI than if they came up to us and asked something that we are maybe upset about. Oh, I’m going to start. I’m thinking about whatever, something that you don’t want your kids to do, oh, you’re not going to do that. That’s not going to happen in this house. As opposed to going on AI and saying, I’m thinking about this or I want to experiment with this. What do you think AI is going to be like? Oh, well that’s good. You’re concerned. Here’s some ideas. Without all of the crazy emotion, I feel like our biggest challenge is we have to be better and better at thinking about how important it’s to learn about being human and how we engage in dialogue.(00:49:14): I think that’s so much about what you do consultants as counselors every day and that conversation they have with you about their careers might be the most intense emotional, intimate conversation that they have all week. And that’s why I think I guess when, and I know we’re near the end, and Jen introduced me to careerscope and careerscope gave me the opportunity to talk with you. That’s why I think that what you do is one of the most important things that people could do to get people connected at a time about a topic. It’s the most vulnerable they could ever be is where is my next step and what am I going to do next? And so while you are trained in dialogue, most of the people we’re talking to are having less and less experience. And so I just appreciate a chance to get to share some of these insights and hope they’ve been helpful as you think about how to be intentional.

Amanda Steinberg, CareerScope President (00:50:14): One more, which is from Pamela, how do you help youth, to warm up? Are there any strategies for the very beginning, how you create that trust right out of the gate? Any best practices?

Professor Jeanine Turner, Speaker (00:50:34): Yeah, so I think that when I was thinking about whether people would be in person or not, that has maybe a difference or two. But I think that we have to communicate more about communication. So I think even saying this type of one-on-one today, I’m really excited to have this space to have one-on-one conversation and just concentrate on each other. And there’s actually not many other places in your life that you get the chance to do this. And so it’s almost like helping them to understand that this is a special space and then this is a crazy example, but I think there’s this New York Times article The 36 Questions That Lead to Love [ ]

(00:51:37): There’s many that aren’t appropriate, but some that could be appropriate that you might use them. Here’s some questions for us to get to know each other, and I’d love you to pick which one would you like to talk about for us to get to know each other, to give them some agency or even say, if you had the chance to get to know someone, if you had the chance to meet Taylor Swift, what are the three questions you’d ask her? Right? And then why would you ask her those questions? Okay, then let’s us answer those questions, right? I think it’d be a way to, because I think that your question is a great one. I don’t think people understand how to even get to even a more intimate place because they’re just not used to it or not used to having just your everyday conversation, tell me about yourself. They’re just not used to it. So I think trying a way to collaborate on that might be a great way to do it.

Amanda Steinberg, CareerScope President (00:52:30): Well, professor, just out of respect for everyone who’s here and their time and timeliness, I just want to say thank you so much. The greatest thing that I’m taking away from this is we have to understand these new distinctions because they didn’t exist when we were growing up. And so that intentionality about communicating about communication, there’s simply new skills that have to be taught that didn’t because they were just part of everyday life and they aren’t now. So it’s something that we all have to bring into our realm and we wouldn’t necessarily think of that unless you had surfaced that for us. So what an absolute pleasure everyone. We will include links to the YouTube video and the presentation, and I also dropped a link into the chat to our very young but growing career scope community. If any of you would like to continue this conversation, please feel free to do so. And thank you. Any closing words, professor, before we sign off? And then if anyone is here who’s new to CareerScope, please hang on after Professor Turner’s final words and I’m going to take you through a very brief introduction to CareerScope.

Professor Jeanine Turner, Speaker (00:54:46): Thank you so much, I really appreciate it.

Amanda Steinberg, CareerScope President (00:54:49): You are dismissed, professor.