When searching the Internet, it’s awfully nice that Google anticipates what you’re asking and completes your thought.
When serving on a technology panel, it’s not so nice that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt anticipates what you’re saying and completes your thought.
Such was the unfortunate experience of Megan Smith, former Google employee, now the U.S. chief technology officer, at the South by Southwest Conference. Smith, Schmidt and writer Walter Isaacson comprised a panel focused on innovation. An unforeseen dimension of the discussion, however, involved Schmidt and Isaacson consistently cutting off their colleague, thwarting Smith’s attempts to finish some sentences.
Thankfully, audience member and Google Diversity Manager Judith Williams called out Schmidt and Isaacson for their bad behavior. Since the event, many pundits have rightly painted what transpired as an issue of gender equality. And in addition to that important point, another fundamental flaw can be named — a failure to listen.
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