Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

The two arts you develop while attending a conference

How can you make the most of a conference you’re attending? You listen and interact.

Listen and interact

However, most people are with their laptops checking email, reading papers, or preparing their presentation. Other people use tablets instead. And occasionally you see people with their smartphone sending messages or getting dopamine through social networks.

Art of Listening

Listening is an art, as well as interacting. And art for some is natural, but others have to train. Train until it becomes natural. I’m more of the training kind.

Developing the art of listening means overcoming the obstacles of distraction, boredom, not understanding the topic or even too much things in your mind. To better listen you need to focus, you can Doodle and declutter your mind. Emptying your mind is “creating in it the space” to listen and welcome the thoughts of others.

Art of Interacting

Developing the art of interacting means to use your vulnerability to create connections. If interacting is difficult to you, don’t focus on yourself, it on the other. What does the other think about a topic? If you recognize his expertise, why not ask for it during the conference?

I know this listening and interacting is already what many people do, but through the years I see this less often and most people focus on their devices instead.

A conference is the moment for experiencing a scientific lifestyle. Thus, if in the next few weeks you are going to attend a conference, don’t miss the opportunity to develop the arts of listening and interacting. Who knows what ideas and inspiration awaits when you raise your head from the smartphone screen and embrace the best reality life in front of you has to offer.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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