Hold on a minute. You took a factory tour of G.E and watched the assembly line “Yes, and we also went on a tour of the Hershey Plant”, she replied. Check this out!
It all began with a school project. Interview three people who are specialists in their field. Share the interview as well as some of the principles, concepts, ideas and themes you discovered. Write three to four pages for each summary.
Interview one. Check. How can this be so much fun? Interview two. Same result. Interview three. BAM!
Some of you have already discovered how enjoyable this is in the form of a podcast or vlog. But have you ever thought of conducting one yourself?
Principle 1: If you want to be interesting, be interested.
Here are 5 things I’ve learned about interviewing.
Forget about yourself- Don’t show other people how much you know, when you’re conducting an interview. It’s not the time to talk. It’s time to listen. Let them tell tell their story and don’t constantly interrupt them. When you do interrupt, aim to clarify or probe deeper. Be ready to bob, weave and tuck your head. Throw out the script if the interviewee wants to lead the show. Often they will share something you hadn’t thought about asking.
Take notes- The weakest ink is stronger than the strongest memory. I found that when I interviewed over the phone, I was able to type faster than I could write, so I did. Get the bare bones down on paper however you see fit. Don’t tell yourself you’re going to remember everything. You won’t.
Review as soon as you can after the interview is conducted– Right now you are glowing and your fire is stoked, all the more reason to rehash your interview. Your interview isn’t finished until you write and reflect. Writing creates a permanent record.
The same concepts can be applied to your daily interactions with people. I went to school with a kid who was always asking questions. Back then I just thought he was annoying. Now I believe he was curious and wanted to learn. I don’t know where he is now, but he’s probably a millionaire.
Interview the next person you meet. Give this a try today. You don’t have to tell them what you’re doing. Just ask them some questions. What are their hobbies? Any vacations planned? What are they reading? Find out a little bit about them and see what happens. I can almost guarantee you’ll make their day.
Ask them to clarify things you don’t understand- Don’t just shake your head if you don’t understand. Ask them to clarify. If they name a book or movie and you miss it because you’re not paying attention, ask them to share again.
Process what you’ve learned- This could be the last time you ever see the person or the first of many encounters. The next time you see them you’ll know more about them. Ask them how their daughter is. You may be the only person who is taking any notice of their life and showing that you care.
If you’re going to see them again, be prepared to help them- Clip out an article for them. Recommend a book that will address some of their pressure points or buy a copy and give it to them. Share some Tomatoes from your garden or a packet of seeds. Buy them a card and share some encouraging words inside.
Principle 2: When you get interested, life gets interesting.
If your life has lost its flare, someone is not going to just show up and get interested in you. You need to take initiative. Talk with people who have accomplished things you’d like to accomplish. Talk to people who have a spirit you’d like to cultivate. For example, they are more upbeat than you are or humble. I found out a long time ago that laying around my house in a fetal position doesn’t solve anything. You are Christopher Columbus and their is a whole new world out there to find and explore.
Go to your local library and check out some of the books the people you interviewed are reading. Research their interests. When you broaden the range of your reading, you broaden as a person. You can learn something from everything you read. Don’t be afraid to cross-pollinate your thinking. A new concept you learn about while studying Electrical Engineering may help you better understand something you’ve been pondering for years. O.K, I may be stretching it right there. 🙂 Nobody ever got a good idea while reading a book about how to manufacture Crack.
Principle 3: When you get interesting, other people get interested.
If you love podcasts, why not start one of your own. Start small. There are plenty of free resources out there. If you’re going to do a vlog on Youtube, use your camera phone for now. Don’t worry about all of the details. Build the plane as you’re rolling down the runway. Keep your posts short. Many people today have the attention of a Fruit Fly. They won’t even look at your video if it’s over 10 minutes long, but they will if its as short as 1-3 minutes. Even three minutes might be stretching it at first.
Don’t worry about how many viewers you have. Don’t even look at the stats. In most cases you’ll only get depressed again and find yourself on the couch eating Ho-Ho’s and Ding Dongs. Don’t worry about the money, concentrate on saving the world one life at a time. You can probably figure out the rest on your own.
So if taking a factory tour of G.E or the Hershey Plant sounds about as interesting as having your eyebrows removed, you might want to reconsider. In the words of someone smart, “Your network is your net worth”. There’s a whole world of people out there who are waiting to hear what you have to say but before they listen, they want to be heard.