In the past, people served machines. Today, machines free people to do what technology can’t: sell, service, and lead. As we explore this global shift from the industrial to the digital age, we cordially invite your voice in Developing the 21st Century Workforce™.
by Todd Beck
You can all throw gray goo or nuke me, or however else you choose to grief me, but I’ll say it anyway: I think generational differences are over-hyped.
People are people, and have been for thousands of years through renaissance and revolution and countless arguments about how parents just don’t understand. We’ve always needed help improving personal interactions, and we always will need help. In fact, if the simplest information exchanges are moved to technology, then face-to-face (or phone-to-phone) will inherently become the really meaty discussions.
So what training do today’s workers need? The interpersonal skills needed 50 years ago will be needed 50 years from now. People need to be able to ask questions to better understand needs, create messages that push the right buttons (pun intended), read how the other person is responding, help the other person manage emotions productively, and motivate desired behaviors.
Perhaps most important, they need to learn that all these skills apply to all these media. That the way you interact with me via instant messaging has to create the same feeling I get from you when we’re face-to-face. And only classroom will allow me the chance to practice those vital face-to-face interactions.
Check out this video where I grief Jack during our debate on AchieveGlobal Island in Second Life.