Monday, April 19, 2010

SWE-NY and IEEE-WIE Professional Development Seminar at Google with Dr. Firari

On April 15, I attended a presentation hosted/sponsored by Google. It was an event run by the Society of Women Engineers (NY Professional Chapter) and IEEE Women in Engineering. SWE NY Chapter extended an invitation to SHPE-NYC.

The speaker was Dr. Fairlie Firari. In summary, she gave a very interesting a presentation on communication styles at work, specifically on peoples e-style of communication using email. What follows are a few key points from her talk:
  • Important fact, 40% communication at a business is over email.
  • Email has is own intrinsic problem. It being that 50% of emails are misunderstood.
  • No such thing as good or bad styles. We must learn to adapt to others.
  • There is a correlation between e-style and face to face communication.
Her main proposals:
  • We did not learn everything we needed to learn in kindergarten, specifically how to listen. So its a good idea to take a listening class.
  • Effective communication is hard work, thus you must learn to adapt. You will see benefits such as respect, and you will develop stronger business relationships.
  • Understand your own style, and of course understand others as well.
Maybe the most interesting thing she talked about was people's style under stress. There exists something called "The Z phenomenon" which describes how styles change due to stress and how it is very predictable of how your communication style will change depending on your dominant style.

A very good summary of the body of her talk can be found on her blog.
Also, visit Dr. Firari's website at:, and visit the SWE NY Chapter homepage at:
---Juan Rafael Lopez
SHPE-NYC Technology Director

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