Talking to people

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I’ve spent the past few days involved in deep, deep, deep reporting. Which means I’ve been bouncing from place to place interviewing folks.

I’m not saying it’s entire;y justified, but I think I’ve earned a reputation as a guy who gets people to open up and chatter. I can’t completely disagree with this take. We all have strengths and weaknesses. I certainly have many weaknesses. But interviewing, well, I’m solid.

How? A few keys:

A. Being genuinely interested in others: I am. Like, I really am. I wanna know the grossest thing you’ve ever seen. I wanna know what stuff feels like. What hurt the most? What gave you the most joy? The most pleasure. I’d rather hear your story than tell mine.

B. Listening and watching. Meaning: Listening to the words, and watching the mannerisms. The looks. The facial expressions. They matter, and they often speak more loudly than the syllables themselves.

C. Know your shit upon arrival. Do your homework. Don’t ask basic questions that are answered with ease on The Googler. Also, feel the person out. Talk on his/her level. That doesn’t mean lying or being insincere. But if the person is a 16-year-old North Dakotan ditch digger, you might not wanna broach Reaganomics. If the person is a devout Jew, delve into it.

Anyhow, I’m tired. But wanted to share.

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