Having Successful Conversations

In class today we watched and briefly discussed a TED talk by Celeste Headlee. In it she provides 10 techniques for having better conversations. This is definitely a skill we all need to work on – as it helps create meaningful rapport, and friends, and more successful teaching and companies. My notes are as follows:
1. Don’t multitask (no half in. If you’re only half in, get out).
2. Don’t pontificate. No pundits. Enter assuming/desiring to learn.
3. Use open ended questions: who, what, when, why, how (ex., what was it like?)
4. Go with the flow. Pre planned questions stop your listening.
5. If you don’t know, then say you don’t.
6. Don’t equate your experience to theirs. Experiences are individual.
7. Don’t repeat yourself (ex., you know what I mean?)
8. Stay out of the woods – meaning, don’t worry about the random deals of dates, etc.
9. Listen. If you mouth is open you’re not listening. You can talk 225 words/min., but you can listen 500 words/min.
10. Be brief. Like a miniskirt – short enough to keep us interested, but long enough to cover the subject.

63 Replies to “Having Successful Conversations”

  1. Tanner’s Articles:


    This article was interesting. It is attempting to take all that is good with Facebook, Reddit and other popular social media outlets and just keeping the good.


    It is interesting to see a company like Apple who is leading in many areas of new technology trends pick and choose to leave out very common types of computers accessories such as an SD card reader (previously the headphone jack on their new iphones.)

  2. Emily’s:

    Digital media exposure for children of all ages should be limited, according to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    Solve at HUBweek took place at the MIT Media Lab on Sept. 27 and 28. Participants selected online through an open innovation platform pitched their ideas for meeting a range of challenges, from removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, to educating children in refugee camps around the world.

  3. Adam’s Finds:

    Have your parents ever taken an awkward picture of you and to your utter embarrassment post it for the world to see? Could this be a violation of your privacy rights? Hmm…


    Ever wonder who really owns what? Click to find out who actually owns Netflix, Buzzfeed, and Hulu, etc.


  4. Amy Costello:
    This is an interesting article about how visual car paradigms are changing as we transition into driverless cars.
    “Google’s self-driving car design boss speaks on her strategy”

    Awesome research about how to project video onto 3D moving surfaces like fabric, moving cards, etc.
    “Researchers Figure Out How to Project Video Onto Moving, Non-Rigid Surfaces”

  5. Jenica’s Finds:

    I loved this article. Sometimes I lie awake at night agonising over bad graphic design and cinematography I have done in the past, but I need to respect my growth process and recognise that as I learn, the stuff I thought was incredible at the time always feel amateurish in the future. If I DON’T dislike my previous work, something is wrong. I’m not making progress.

    “10 Tips to Teach Yourself Design & Boost Your Design Skills”
    This was cool as someone listed off things to make you a better designer. I liked the one about doing tutorials. If I found time every week to finish a design tutorial, I’d become a better designer much faster. I also like how it mentioned to follow other designers on instagram so that I can learn from them and be able to remix ideas into something new. I’ll go follow some designers on instagram!

  6. Whitney’s Finds:
    When I first saw this article, I assumed it was something about Photoshop, because of the insane looking picture. Turns out the photo is for real, the article itself is short, but with a photo like that, you really don’t need to say a lot to get your point across!

    After our coding unit in TEE 125, I have greater appreciation for how difficult coding can be, and so I was immediately interested when I saw this article about programs to teach coding to kids.

  7. Cassidy Vela:

    A lead, 420 lb gamma ray camera has been developed to record images of gamma rays emitted by electrons in plasma. They are learning lots more about electrons and how to be successful with nuclear fusion.

    Computer Scientists are developing a new AI that is able to justify its decisions. This article explains neural networks and how they teach computers to think. They don’t want these devices to be black boxes; they want to know why it is deciding what it is.

  8. Matts finds

    The competition between mac and microsoft is evergrowing. Microsoft is now going after Apple’s core customers, and the two are split over the role of touch and input interfaces for PCs.


    NASA has had concrete plans to send people to the Red Planet since 2010. Molten salt is now one proposed solution to how people can receive power on mars.


  9. Julia’s Finds 11/1

    “A really bright idea: PowerBulb will charge your devices and light up a room” http://www.digitaltrends.com/home/powerbulb-charger/amp/
    This lamp comes with USB ports to charge your devices so you don’t have to find an outlet

    “Amazon Alexa is now a small home robot thanks to Omate” https://www.engadget.com/amp/2016/11/01/omate-yumi-home-robot-alexa/
    Yumi is now an updated version of Alexa – they’ve turned the intelligent personal assistant into a home robot

  10. Jacob’s articles:

    “Adobe’s Experimental 3D App Adds a New Dimension to Photoshop”

    This is pretty interesting and I hope it’s as cool as it sounds. There is a new technology being introduced in Adobe Photoshop called Project Felix. It seems to be a way of creating and photoshopping 3D objects. Pretty neat.


    It looks like even though Apple hasn’t been making the same changes as companies like Mircrosoft with their new Surface Studio, Apple seems to be doing pretty well will sales. More and more people want their products even if their MacBook’s don’t have a touch screen.

  11. Amy Costello

    This is an article about a new method of data storage, storing electrons inside controlled “defects” in man-made diamonds. Currently, optical drives are limited in size by how small we can focus/control a wavelength of light, but using diamonds and science, this research team claims they can increase data density while also moving from 2D optical drives to 3D diamond drives.

    “Turning diamonds’ defects into long-term 3-D data storage”

    This is an article about new FCC policies regarding how browsers and internet providers can use the cookie data they collect from you.
    “Internet providers will soon need permission to share your web browsing history”

  12. Dillon Durrant

    A few awesome articles about VR, reminded me of our discussion by Adam!
    1. This is an interesting CON of VR, what they’re calling VR sickness. Almost sounds like it’s getting TOO real!
    2. Another cool example of virtual reality. Now the hair dressers in training don’t need to run the risk of messing up someone’s hair for real – a mistake that the customer pays for for weeks!

  13. Deric’s finds

    We talked about how you can use amazon alexia and that you can ask anything of her. It was only time before google got on the band wagon. they have a lot to do to catch up to amazon.www.cnet.com/products/google-home/review/
    Have we really come down to feeling like we need to take a picture of ourselves voting? I agree with the judge and think if you need a picture or your self that bad we don’t need your vote http://www.cnet.com/news/judge-aclu-lawsuit-california-ballot-selfies-first-amendment-free-speech-civil-rights/

  14. Adam’s Finds

    1. This article is kind of a cool insight about why having strategic content makes and breaks the growth of even the best innovative products. http://techwhirl.com/enticing-your-audience-through-content-strategy/

    2. Okay, lets be honest, the camera settings are confusing. This site explains it simply and clearly for those of you, like me, who struggle wrapping your mind around it.

  15. Emily’s

    As holistic health and wellness creeps into more people’s lives, technology finds new ways to help us cope with our situations. Self-improvement in the tech age: It starts with opening an app.

    Will humans take advantage of AI in self-driving cars? What is to stop someone from being more aggressive if they know that self-driving cars are programmed to avoid crashing (and therefore more conservative in their driving techniques)

  16. Nov 3 Maddy Mae’s Finds:


    This article discusses some of the security issues raised by the rising trend of IoT in the home. As people are embracing the Internet of Things and integrating this technology into their common devices and appliances at home they are also increasing the number of access points a potential hacker could have to their personal information. I think that IoT will continue to progress despite these possible threats because the same argument was made about things like email and personal cellphones and those markets have flourished anyways.


    Surgeons are now able to 3D print titanium facial implants while in the operation room. This medical application of 3D printing will allow for custom implants that fit more appropriately with the patient as well as simplify the process for the surgeon.

  17. Tanner’s Articles:

    This first video article is all about augmented reality. Specifically in utilizing it in interior design. I have been helping my parents redo many of the rooms in their house and this app that the video discusses would have been such a help in making decisions prior to spending money on furniture or spending weeks building something.

    This second article is very thought provoking. With parents regularly posting photos of their children to praise or show support is that in turn hurting their children in the future? I’m reminded by a few Hollywood A List actors who have made pacts to not post pictures of their children, release names or sexes of their newborn children for the fact that they want their children to make the decision if they want to be in the spot light. Something to ponder with the every day use of social media.


  18. Matts 2 finds

    Want some ideas on how to convert or renovate your home to something modern and contemporary? Here are some interesting ideas others did across the globe

    Many people took condmened buildings or old apartments and tranformed them into something unique. Check out the link and see the cool before and after pictures. They just might inspire you to make something similar.


    If you love classic video games, here is an article about the must play games from the NES. It also talks about why classic games and consoles still hold up today and why playing the old games in their original format is better than on an import.


  19. Taylor’s Finds


    This is an article about the future of online education. It is all about pivoting technology to use it to adapt to the individual versus trying to adjust to everyone.


    This was an interesting article about adapting VR to be more interactive. Engineers are experimenting with eye tracking software so that the software will play off of what the person is looking at.

  20. Jenica finds:

    This article talks about the background work that goes into developing a good political logo. Just like other trends over time, logos have evolved from Jimmy Carter’s green circle with his face on it, to Clinton’s simple H with a arrow. Simplicity and design really reach every facet of public life.

    This article talks about a specific designer who has designed almost everything. He’s designed vases and thrones and even islands. He takes a holistic approach to everything and that’s what he says gets him into museums like the MoMA.

  21. Cassidy Vela

    Smart glasses are sounding cooler and cooler with this new technology using organic light emitting diodes. They developed a much more power efficient device that lasts much longer and doesn’t heat up.

    Should preschoolers be exposed to technology in the class? We’re in a living experiment, and we don’t yet know the long term effects of kids growing up with tablets and smart phones. We just need a good balance. The tech should be used to help learning, not just for the sake of tech. (I think kids need to go outdoors more. I certainly wish I did and do.)

  22. Shelley’s finds:

    Stimulating alpha waves through visual stimuli and sound can decrease the amount of pain your brain feels. In the future this discover could be incorporated into technologies like google glass to help patients.

    Android developed “spells” that it’s voice assistant responds to: Lumos, Nox and Silencio.


  23. Amy Costello

    An article with examples of great graphic design from the election.
    “The 13 Best Magazine Covers Of This Hellish Election”

    An article and video about Adobe’s new product that “photoshops” voices. It’s super sweet!
    “Adobe Is Working On “Photoshop For Voices,” And It’s Uncannily Good”

  24. Jenica’s finds:

    This article talks about picking a good display type for your website header or other brand header. There’s a part that says “Lettering should pass the eyeball test, meaning it should look appealing. The words should have a certain feel or flair or flourish to them that’s desirable. If you see any oddities in the characters combinations, users will too” and I hate that!!!!! Not everyone is born with that eye for design. That’s why so many ugly flyers, posters, and websites exist. We can’t just assume that all viewers actually get good design. That raises the question though: how do we teach people to have a good eye for design?

    This article talks about how VR can be used for educational purposes–typically in K-12 because it’s hard to break through the rigid higher education paradigm. These educational experiences involve typical school subject-based learning. But also emotional learning such as putting yourself in the midst of a father+daughter communication breakdown, or watching police brutality firsthand and making subsequent ethical decisions. Cool!

  25. Jacob found…


    There is a new product/prototype that is trying to help blind people navigate cities and such better. The idea is for camera’s on lenses that you would wear like sunglasses would read text visible to camera to the user. Pretty cool.


    This is pretty cool. You can now make gif’s on Vevo using any of the music videos provided! I guess that doesn’t break any copyright laws.

  26. Adam’s Finds

    Fibre is not the only big internet innovation, Broadband is making a comeback and it could be a game-changer!

    Ever heard of a “Smart City?” Cities of the future will have huge information storage capabilities as a public resource. Click below to read more about it! http://www.newelectronics.co.uk/electronics-technology/the-capacity-for-storage-is-fast-becoming-a-vital-component-of-smart-city-infrastructure/145594/

  27. Emily’s

    MIT has announced a new network of resources for budding entrepreneurs to launch their innovative ideas.

    Similar to the age of the Ice Bucket challenge and the Harlem Shake, a new fad has swept social media and it is called the mannequin challenge.

  28. Michelle’s finds:

    http://www.livescience.com/56772-hypersonic-flight-technology-united-states.html Very interesting article about a new way of flight that could be 6x faster than the speed of sound.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/600768/10-breakthrough-technologies-2016-robots-that-teach-each-other/ I feel like this is just another Robot invasion meeting wanting to happen, but it’s interesting that we’ve come this far with robot technology.

  29. Nov 10 Maddy Mae’s finds:


    Tesla Superchargers will no longer be free. The new fees will be used for maintenance and expansion as opposed to generating profit.


    This article gives a few examples of average products made more appealing by beautifully designed packaging. I think this is a great example of excellent graphic design as well as how much of an influence a products packaging can have.

  30. Dillon Durrant

    Interesting article tying back to our Cell coverage lecture. Apparently everyone needs coverage, even in a high-security prison!

    Another article about our hacking lecture. Interesting how current events keep hackers and cybersecurity on their toes.

  31. Cassidy Vela:

    Rasberry Pi is a computer-building/tech exploration kit. It’s affordable and great for teaching kids and introducing them to how computers actually work! They can build so many different things with this kit. Kids learn best when you take away the fear of breaking something.

    An automotive Innovation center is opening to offer students hands on learning in this field. Innovation is truly a needed skill in all fields, and it’s nice that people are noticing its importance.

  32. Jenica’s finds:

    “Taco Bell’s New Logo is the Worst”
    This designer is saying that companies need to stop with the logos with only 2 colours and Helvetica-look-alike fonts. People need to chill with the minimalism. Or as he calls it “getting away with as little design as possible.” Interesting!! I’ve always tried to emulate minimalism in design, but maybe it’s becoming too much in 2016.

    “Molecular Traces On Your iPhone Screen Reveal A Scary Amount Of Personal Information”
    Scientists were able to find entire lifestyle profiles of people just from cotton swabbing their phones. They can trace chemicals from like 4 months ago. This includes diet, career, medications, along with many other chemicals.

  33. Keslie’s Finds:

    This guy, Nick Briz, created a series of videos to teach people about ‘how and why’ of creating internet art. He also helped define many useful terms which could quite possibly help all struggling coding students.
    Now that I know what torents are, i found this very interesting. What.CD, a torrent sharing website, and also a very popular one, was just shut down after over a decade of existing.

  34. Nov 17 Maddy Mae’s Finds


    Portal is a flexible phone that become wearable. While this is a neat development in the phone industry I don’t think it will take off because the phone is large and not very visually appealing when worn. While using both a phone and a smart watch means more devices I think most people will still prefer that option over the wearable phone.


    LG has created a double-sided ultra-thin television. Other than just being kind of cool I don’t see this having a lot of application outside of commercial institutions or high-end sports bars.

  35. Here is Tanner’s links:


    This article is talking about a new target genre for toys. Coding toys and specifically with little kids and girls. Providing new opportunities for coding earlier can increase the number of future technology related careers.


    This article is really interesting. Stanford students were able to send a chemical text replacing 1’s and 0’s for acid and base coding. Although they don’t have a specific application right now they are very excited for the vast potential application in the future. Things like the body, areas where electromagnetic signals aren’t working very well.

  36. Matts finds

    I didn’t know this but apparently google has their own inteligent personal assistant recently launced. Its called the Google Home smart speaker. Instead of using a personified AI, like the Echo’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, Google relies on voice-powered variation of its Google Assistant. Its the same software that powers its new Allo chat app. And, fyi, you can get for just 99 dollars this black friday (its normally 130 dollars)


    Japan managed fix and fill in a sink hole that was the size of an olympic sized swimming pool in just ONE WEEK!!! Its amazing how technology and engineering advances can allow us to move at a rapid pace.


  37. Cassidy Vela:

    MIT is playing a huge role in teaching Hong Kong students, teachers, and parents how to think computationally. A large part of this is teaching them how to code using Scratch and MIT App Inventor, beginner level coding to teach the basics.

    People are literally making cockroach cyborgs. The connect tiny electronics to their antennae and cerci. The cerci part makes them move and the antennae steer. These biobots are planned to be able to map out unsafe areas as directed by a drone (they can’t move more than 20m from it in their example)

  38. Amy Costello:

    Alexa can now read recipes from AllRecipes, going through the steps. Sounds nice, but the author points out some potential design flaws.
    “Amazon’s Alexa can now talk you through 60,000 recipes”

    Tesla released a video showing what their self-driving cars see when driving about.
    “Tesla Self-Driving Demonstration”

  39. Jenica’s finds:

    “Five Surprising Ways Engineers Can Improve Their Stamina at Work”
    This article aims to break the stereotype of the soylent-drinking software engineer bro who keeps a cot by his desk. It’s important to be well-rounded.

    “Disney’s new animatronic robots are getting too realistic for me”
    This article shows a video of the new Avatar ride to be unveiled at Disney’s Animal Kingdom next year. The video looked like CGI to me.

  40. Adam’s Finds:

    Ever wonder what touchscreen tech is best?

    It looks like the “internet of things” is finally growing up… According to this article, the Internet of things is finally “coming of age.”

  41. Shelley’s finds:

    Snapchat’s spectacles will now also have a prescription lens option

    AI personal assistants are getting better and better and recognizing human speech and soon they will be able to recognize the sound of waves and cheering crowds.

  42. Amy Costello

    Microsoft is developing an AI which will suggest captions for images and videos to make content more accessible for blind users.
    “Microsoft’s AI will describe images in Word and PowerPoint for blind users”

    Social commentary pop-up store which has demented products and information about how to be less consumery.
    “Visit The Internet’s Dark Side At This Demented Apple Store”

  43. Cassidy Vela

    Virtual Reality does have amazing applications in empathy and storytelling. It tricks the mind, making the story much more real and potent. A project at MIT called “The Enemy” is helping people understand the people behind the soldiers and countries. They are all just people. This is helping humanize the enemy and give people a greater understanding.

    An algorithm using two competing neural networks is able to generate a video of what would most likely happen from a still image. It can predict the future! Some applications are better self-driving cars and knowing when a video has been faked. It is trained by watching 2 million unlabeled videos. It’s getting pretty realistic.

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