Human and Machine Face-to-Face Communication

Machine woman talking









When was as the last time you dialed a company phone number and a live person answered? Instead you got “press one if you know your party’s extension. Press two if you’re a customer. Press three if you want English. Press O if you want to reach somebody in India or the Philippines.” Press press press —recording after recording of the recording. Is anybody really listening? Where is the face to face communication?

When was the last time you walked inside a physical bank to do your banking — if it had live tellers? How many times you have you stood in front of an ATM machine or stood standing with a smart phone punching a bunch of numbers to discover that the machine does not respond to English, is out of cash, online banking is not available, or it decides not to recognize your pass code which has been accepted hundreds of times in the past.

How many of you look to the future wondering when a robot/big data is going to replace you?

Humans have enough difficulty effectively communicating with each other face-to-face. However, now there is a movement to teach humans how to communicate face-to-face with machines.

This June’s issue of the Harvard Business Review’s main feature is “Meet your new employee. How to manage the man – machine collaboration.” Apparently by the headline of the article “man-machine” the Harvard Business Review must believe women are not yet capable to deal with man-machine collaboration. Shame on them.

There is a short sidebar in the article on page 61 that caught my attention “with an augmentation mindset, knowledge workers will come to see smart machines as partners and collaborators in creative problem solving.”

Humans haven’t developed enough brain work (mindset) in today’s digital world to effectively communicate face-to-face with one another. I read recently Warren Buffett saying, “He hasn’t figured out yet how to shake hands over a telephone.” How can we expect today’s machines to have enough brain power to empathetically interact with humans — or at least based in the article interact with a man.

With hundreds of millions or even billions of active users of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumbler, LinkedIn, Tumbler, Instagram or others, the academic researchers at the Harvard business Review were a bit behind the times and redundant in attempting to teach people how to interact with machines.

I have no idea how to train machines for face-to-face skills. However, if you’re interested in improving your human to human (that includes women) face-to-face communication skills then please contact me.

Blumsack Brown BackgroundAs a coach, trainer and consultant, Larry Blumsack partners with people and organizations on the move and those already there to accelerate their communication, presentation and speaking skills to be on par with their ambition. Through one-on-one coaching and group training Larry helps leaders and aspiring leaders elevate their presence and communication skills to influence more people, sell more products-services-ideas and inspire others more successfully than they ever imagined.

Larry is the bestselling author of Face-to-Face is The Ultimate Social Media and founder of Zoka Institute and Zoka Training®. Zoka Training® — Mind/Voice/Body/Mindfulness in sync — is the result of Larry’s 45 years as a coach, acting teacher, actor, voice-over artist, theater and TV director/producer, radio & TV commentator and show host, speaker, trainer, serial entrepreneur, and syndicated columnist. Larry was a founding member of the theater department at Northeastern University.

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