Isn't it really? That's not to say that people are talking less. It's just that there is very little conversation in all that talk. Listening, which is an extremely important component of any conversation, is a painfully hard skill to find. It is not just me who feels that. Today someone asked me about my educational background. When I told her that I am an engineer, her first reaction was, "Really? See, I have a few nephews and nieces that are engineers, but it is hard to strike a conversation with them." I asked her the reason(s) and she said it is most likely because they don't listen much. Isn't lack of listening abilities very common in the industry, specially software development? The more experienced we get the more we get disillusioned that we know it all - been there, done that. This leads to a verbal exchange of ideas that isn't a conversation at all, many times. Conversations, however, are the bread and butter for Consultants and Business Analysts. If conversation is a dying art then they should be concerned. So, if you ask me for one skill that is at present very important for a BA to have, it'd have to be listening.