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skype My latest hypothesis is that teleconference(often using skype) provides good opportunity for us to develop capability to crystallize our idea and express in a simple and easy way. I came to this hypothesis from my recent experiences of doing three teleconferences in 1.5 days.
The first one was very productive, straightforward with good output. I came to better understanding of the situation the other party is now in and I agreed to collaborate and support his ambitious goal. I felt good after the teleconference as I felt we accomplished a lot in a short meeting. (30 min. or so)
The second one was completely different. We (or at least I-there were three others on the other end) were not clear of what we accomplished from the teleconference, much less our understanding of the situation. I asked some questions, but the group on the other end either did not have answers or did not express/explain them in a easy-to-follow way (in teleconference.) I thought what the situation would have been if we met in person.  (Probably I did not feel as confused as now.)
The third started rather unclear about our understanding of the objective of the tele conference, but the conclusion was very clear at the end.
From these experiences of three teleconferences, I came to think that teleconference will offer good opportunity (not often found in Japan) for the parties involved to have clear objective, opinion and express it in a succinct way. My finding came mainly from the second teleconference where I felt the meeting was not as productive as it could be and left me with ambiguous impression.

I then thought that people’s preference for face-to-face meetings may serve as obstacles for us to clarify our idea and express it.  (As you know, it is quite difficult to explain something if we do not have clear idea, over the phone.  It may be easier to “share” the feelings if we meet face-to-face.

Skills we need today is the ability to have a clear view/opinion and express it in a way that anybody can understand.  I felt that teleconference will encourage (or rather almost force) us to develop the skills as we cannot feel the “air” and feel satisfied simply because we shared the time.  (This is still very preliminary hypothesis and needs to be developed.  I believe it may have some implications for the Japanese preference for face-to-face meetings and lack of capability to express their ideas in a succinct way.  This tendency is more manifested when we deal with the situation in the global environment.  To be continued.)

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