E17: Empathy… Understanding it at the heart of every communication with Chris McKillop, CEO and Co-Founder of Turalt

We are really honored today to have Dr. Chris Mckillop. She really knows her stuff and as a pioneer in her field. She earned her degree in artificial intelligence in the 1990’s. She have an MSc in human centered computer systems, a PhD in educational technology and she, of course, have researched and published tons of articles on emotional dimensions of learning. She has a long record of pioneering technological innovations to improve learning. Chris is really passionate about artificial intelligence, empathy and how it can help improve people’s lives. She incorporated her first company Turalt when she was 50 and is proud to be an older woman in tech advancing A.I. for the good.

Episode Overview:

Dr. McKillop explains to us what Turalt means. Turalt stands for, hero of ours, Alan Turing. “TUR” is Turing, “AL” stands for Alan then tweak the “T” on the end because Alt is very computerish and he basically gave us the foundations of artificial intelligence. Most people know about Alan Turing is from the imitation game and of people who understand what the Turing Test is. An interesting thing about the turing test is really all about what qualities of text-based communication would show, but you’re actually speaking to a human being rather than a machine and that is empathy.

A good way of describing email personality is looking at how you approach your natural tendencies and how you approach writing emails and how you perceive the tone of other people’s emails. So this gives you some fundamental understanding into what your email skills are and what you are doing. What we’ve also done is we have a plug-in that sits within your email system and that will give you real time feedback on your email. So it will show you how assertive you’re being, how empathic you’re being, and will look at the tone of it, clarity of it, how long it is. All those elements that we know from our own research and from the scientific research that has actually gone on before cause miscommunication and we can make predictions about what markers are going to potentially cause miscommunication. So that is like a real time as you’re typing out your email to help you and help you get the clarity of your message across and to help you get the correct tone across to minimize that communication breakdown.

Part of the frustration about the communication in the workplace is Email. Email is certainly a big problem. We are getting so much email. We’re spending about a quarter of our day on email communication and although companies abroad in other channels like slack, this email use is actually still growing three percent a year now. It is assured that more adoption of millennials and younger generations who are going away from email will at some point start reducing.

Communication is really problematic. Based on statistics, we are spending a quarter of our day on email communication. 64% of employees have actually sent or received an email causing anger or resentment. It’s a real problem and so much time is being lost. 300 Billion is lost annually in lost productivity from email alone. Now, some of that, we are getting a lot of spam. We’ve got to filter all our email, but a lot of that is the miscommunication and if we were much clearer in our communication and the tone was being perceived and if the message being preceded is correct then that is all going to be reduced.

What you’ll learn in his episode:

  • How Chris ended up in Canada from West Coast of Scotland.
  • How Chris and her co-founder turned their communication frustrations into a business.
  • How Turalt was launched
  • Billions of dollars are being lost due to miscommunications.
  • Turalt analyzes your email personality without looking at your emails.
  • How Turalt developed their Email Psychometric
  • Minimizing communication breakdowns from emails
  • Why sensitivity and awareness of the mental state is important in the workplace.
  • Workplace stress can impact on workplace mental health issues.
  • Mistrust can impact other people the negative kind of way.
  • How empathy must be present at the heart of every communication
  • How Chris manages to get over her impostor syndrome
  • Having an obsessive post it notes habit can make one productive.
  • How to take time to switch off  

Quotes:

  • When people have been very successful they forget the little things and how they overcome those little things.
  • Talk to people at all stages
  • Look at the big picture
  • Do something that you are passionate about.
  • People. Empathy. Communication
  • Life is too short. Don’t be afraid and go for it.

Productivity Tool:

Overview of the Company:

Turalt believes empathy is at the heart of our communication, and that technology can help us be more effective in increasing our empathy and emotional intelligence in the digital world. Our mission is to use our ‘technology of empathy’ to help humans be more human online. Our passion is to make the world a more empathic place.

 

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