In-person intelligence

Have you stopped typing and writing "2004" yet? Not me. Despite that bit of subconscious denial, it is 2005 and time to re-examine goals, ambitions, and plans. (Better to think about "re-examining" things, rather than making New Year's resolutions. Same thing, but first one sounds much better.) Many people I know put some form of "get smarter" on their lists.

01/01/2005


Have you stopped typing and writing '2004' yet? Not me. Despite that bit of subconscious denial, it is 2005 and time to re-examine goals, ambitions, and plans. (Better to think about 're-examining' things, rather than making New Year's resolutions. Same thing, but first one sounds much better.)

Many people I know put some form of 'get smarter' on their lists. Like it or not, everyone receives an annual re-certification at Knocks University—some get so many lumps during the year they consider themselves tenured students at the School of Hard Knocks.

Today, we all have the chance to get smarter in print, electronically, and in person. Despite the inherent value of communication technologies, I continue to find value in in-person communications.

Seven reasons to be there , wherever that may be, include:

  1. Filters. People listen selectively, depending on their experiences. No matter how hard anyone tries to relay objective information, there's always some filtering going on. That life perspective makes what you hear different from what I hear; first-hand listening is part of communication in its purest form.

  2. Body language and voice inflection. Subtleties like these provide emphasis and meaning beyond the written word.

  3. Creative combinations. The multi-sensory nature of in-person communication prompts juxtaposition of thoughts and creative revelations—'Aha!' moments in your mind.

  4. In-process changes. In many forums, audience input can shape what speakers say. That's certainly also the case with one-on-one communications.

  5. Feedback. Providing feedback in person can reinforce and clarify what was just heard, augmenting learning.

  6. Relationship building. Putting a face with a name or company improves future interactions via phone or e-mail.

  7. Comparisons. Classes, shows, and conferences, especially diverse ones, such as National Manufacturing Week, can deliver views from a variety of sources. This allows attendees to customize input, allowing best-of-breed, on-the-spot competitive comparisons to suit individuals' needs.

There's a regularly updated industry calendar at bottom of the Control Engineering home page, www.controleng.com . Jot down a few educational opportunities for 2005 and set aside some time and budget for gaining in-person intelligence. Our editors go to scores of industry events every year, gathering information to pass along; I hope we see you along the way, avoiding all the hard knocks we can!

National Manufacturing Week





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