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robertogreco : interviewing   5

Cyd Harrell on Twitter: "just putting a note here to make my next rant about the "warm neutral" communication style & how important it is to my practice"
"just putting a note here to make my next rant about the "warm neutral" communication style & how important it is to my practice

so, about warm neutral - it's my intentional communication posture for any interaction where my job is mainly listening.../1

so user research, hiring interviews, 1:1s as a manager, escalations I take at work, etc. I think most people won't be surprised by 1:1s /2

but I've been with a few people recently who were surprised by my using warm neutral in hiring interviews. I think it's really effective /3

for similar reasons, it's effective in user research - if done well, it puts people at ease, makes them feel heard (as opposed to judged) /4

it shows you're interested without being creepy or directing, & it encourages the person to keep talking about what they're talking about /5

I should probably say what it is: warm-neutral listening is present, receptive, and positive. it doesn't show a ton of surprise /6

it *does* show interest, but it doesn't add a lot of comments. it's not too heavy on reflections back; it asks questions, politely. /7

it's fine to smile or nod when you're dong warm-neutral, if those things are authentic for you; it's not fine to freak about an answer... /8

whether you are positively or negatively excited, variations of smiles and nods and receptive body language are all you should do. /9

you can acknowledge problems and frustrations, & I personally think it's fine to show excitement about tangential things.../10

like if you're in a remote research session, loving the participant's desktop photo is fine & easily segues into the right neutral /11

or if you're researching travel planning, saying their destination sounds amazing (but staying neutral about their planning process) /12

in a hiring interview, it's not a poker face; it's an encouragement to keep talking *even if you didn't like what you just heard* /13

I want people to leave a hiring interview with me feeling like they had a friendly conversation and that they were heard... /14

*I* want to leave a hiring interview with good sense of what the candidate will say if they believe they're being well received /15

that tends to make great candidates look better, and problematic ones look more problematic, so it's a win as far as I'm concerned /16

& it's all about a friendly even keel. warm neutral takes emotional work of course, but I don't think it takes more than cold neutral /17

it does take practice. I practice on chatty people on planes & busses (if I'm feeling up to it) or on people who talk a lot /18

I think the best reference I've ever seen about it is this @ftrain piece https://medium.com/message/how-to-be-polite-9bf1e69e888c … which has a slightly different angle /19

anyway, I think people often believe that being neutral means you shouldn't be warm, and I think that's usually not right. you can. /F"
interviewing  hiring  communication  via:kissane  2017  cydharrell  listening  ethnography  research  neutrality 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Kerri Miller - How to Interview and Why - Burlington Ruby Conference 2014 on Vimeo
"An interview too often feels like a first date - awkward, strange, and not entirely predictive of what’s to follow. There are countless books and websites to help you when you’re a job seeker, but what about when you’re the one doing the hiring? Will you just ask the same puzzle questions or sort algorithm problems? What are your metrics for evaluating or contextualizing the answers? In this talk, I’ll discuss successful practices and techniques to help you find someone who will innovate your business, bring new energy to your team, get the work done, AND be someone you’ll want to work with."
kerrimiller  hiring  interviewing  employment  2014 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Radio Diaries » DIY Radio
[via: "Co-opting your conv & (only slightly) off-topic: basics for radio interviewing I found useful: http://www.radiodiaries.org/diy-radio " https://twitter.com/_ouisa/status/423523909875425280 ]

"The Teen Reporter Handbook [http://www.radiodiaries.org/trh/ ]

Read the handbook online

“Instead of the usual, dull interviews with celebrities, the work of interviewing ordinary people – those who live in your neighborhood, older members of your family – is terribly exciting and rewarding. With a tape recorder and microphone, young interviewers are able to capture the unofficial, unrecorded history of our daily lives. This Teen Reporter Handbook is a wonderful guide to doing that work.”
—Studs Terkel

New and revised handbook coming in 2013!

Anyone can make a radio diary. Our citizen journalism guide, the Teen Reporter Handbook, isn’t just for young people – it’s for anyone who wants to try their hand at making radio. Whether you’re interviewing a neighbor, or a grandparent, or someone you’ve never met, a microphone is a passport into their lives. If you or someone in your community has a story to tell, get a microphone, a recorder, a pair of headphones, and get started.

The Teen Reporter Handbook has been used in schools across the United States, as well as in Russia, Israel, South Africa, and even in a journalism training program in Southern Afghanistan.

Download a PDF of the Teen Reporter Handbook.

If you have questions or ideas, drop us an email at info@radiodiaries.org"
radion  interviewing  howto  classideas  listening  studsterkel 
january 2014 by robertogreco
You Are Boring — The Magazine
"Everything was going great until you showed up. You see me across the crowded room, make your way over, and start talking at me. And you don’t stop.

You are a Democrat, an outspoken atheist, and a foodie. You like to say “Science!” in a weird, self-congratulatory way. You wear jeans during the day, and fancy jeans at night. You listen to music featuring wispy lady vocals and electronic bloop-bloops.

You really like coffee, except for Starbucks, which is the worst. No wait—Coke is the worst! Unless it’s Mexican Coke, in which case it’s the best.

Pixar. Kitty cats. Uniqlo. Bourbon. Steel-cut oats. Comic books. Obama. Fancy burgers.

You listen to the same five podcasts and read the same seven blogs as all your pals. You stay up late on Twitter making hashtagged jokes about the event that everyone has decided will be the event about which everyone jokes today. You love to send withering @ messages to people like Rush Limbaugh—of course, those notes are not meant for their ostensible recipients, but for your friends, who will chuckle and retweet your savage wit.

You are boring. So, so boring.

Don’t take it too hard. We’re all boring. At best, we’re recovering bores. Each day offers a hundred ways for us to bore the crap out of the folks with whom we live, work, and drink. And on the Internet, you’re able to bore thousands of people at once.1

A few years ago, I had a job that involved listening to a ton of podcasts. It’s possible that I’ve heard more podcasts than anyone else—I listened to at least a little bit of tens of thousands of shows. Of course, the vast majority were so bad I’d often wish microphones could be sold only to licensed users. But I did learn how to tell very quickly whether someone was interesting or not.

The people who were interesting told good stories. They were also inquisitive: willing to work to expand their social and intellectual range. Most important, interesting people were also the best listeners. They knew when to ask questions. This was the set of people whose shows I would subscribe to, whose writing I would seek out, and whose friendship I would crave. In other words, those people were the opposite of boring.

Here are the three things they taught me.

Listen, then ask a question
I call it Amtrak Smoking Car Syndrome (because I am old, used to smoke, thought that trains were the best way to get around the country, and don’t really understand what a syndrome is). I’d be down in the smoking car, listening to two people have a conversation that went like this:

Stranger #1: Thing about my life.
Stranger #2: Thing about my life that is somewhat related to what you just said.
Stranger #1: Thing about my life that is somewhat related to what you just said.
Stranger #2: Thing about my life…

Next stop: Boringsville, Population: 2. There’s no better way to be seen as a blowhard than to constantly blow, hard. Instead, give a conversation some air. Really listen. Ask questions; the person you’re speaking with will respect your inquisitiveness and become more interested in the exchange. “Asking questions makes people feel valued,” said former Virgin America VP Porter Gale, “and they transfer that value over to liking you more.”

Watch an old episode of The Dick Cavett Show. Cavett is an engaged listener, very much part of the conversation, but he also allows his partner to talk as well. He’s not afraid to ask questions that reveal his ignorance, but it’s also clear he’s no dummy.2

Online, put this technique to use by pausing before you post. Why are you adding that link to Facebook? Will it be valuable to the many people who will see it? Or are you just flashing a Prius-shaped gang sign to your pals? If it’s the latter, keep it to yourself.

Tell a story
Shitty pictures of your food are all over the Internet. Sites like Instagram are loaded with photo after photo of lumpy goo. What you’re trying to share is the joy you feel when the waiter delivers that beautifully plated pork chop. But your photo doesn’t tell the story of that experience. Your photo rips away the delicious smell, the beautiful room, the anticipation of eating, and the presence of people you love.

Instead, think of your photo as a story. When people tell stories, they think about how to communicate the entirety of their experience to someone else. They set the stage, introduce characters, and give us a reason to care. Of course, that’s hard to do in a single photo, but if you think in terms of story, could you find a better way to communicate your experience? How about a picture of the menu, or of your smiling dinner companions? Anything’s better than the greasy puddles you have decided any human with access to the Internet should be able to see.

Expand your circles
Several years ago, my wife and I went on a long trip. We had saved a little money, and the places we were staying were cheap, so we could afford private rooms in every city but one. Guess where we made the most friends? In Budapest, where we were jammed into a big room with a bunch of folks, we were forced into situations we never would have sought out. I wouldn’t have met Goran, the Marilyn Manson superfan who was fleeing the NATO bombing of Belgrade on a fake Portuguese visa. Or Kurt, the Dutch hippie who let us crash on his floor in Amsterdam. Stepping out of your social comfort zone can be painful, but it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do.3

As you widen your social circle, work on your intellectual one as well. Expose yourself to new writers. Hit the Random Article button on Wikipedia. Investigate the bromides your friends chuck around Twitter like frisbees.

When you expand your social and intellectual range, you become more interesting. You’re able to make connections that others don’t see. You’re like a hunter, bringing a fresh supply of ideas and stories back to share with your friends.

The Big Bore lurks inside us all. It’s dying to be set loose to lecture on Quentin Tarantino or what makes good ice cream. Fight it! Fight the urge to speak without listening, to tell a bad story, to stay inside your comfortable nest of back-patting pals. As you move away from boring, you will never be bored."
interestingness  interestedness  listening  scottsimpson  2012  uniqueness  hivemind  echochambers  noise  howtolisten  howto  storytelling  cv  homogeneity  diversity  exploration  interviewing  instagram  twitter  blogs  blogging  podcasts  dickcavett  boringness  interested 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Scientific Studies Explain the Best Ways to Talk to Children
"When the children are older, they've learned not to take close-ended questions as literally as younger children do. They are closer to adults, who understand close-ended questions as invitations to tell a narrative. But for most children, close-ended questions will elicit the shortest answer possible. More than that, close-ended questions may even get a child to tell you things they know aren't true. They feel pressured to answer close-ended questions."



"When talking with kids, stay away asking about time. Chances are that they won't be able to tell you when something happened."



"Other Things You Can Do To Make a Child Talk (And Things Not To Do!)

Here are a few other things that studies have shown encourage a child to speak:

• Using the child's name (Hershkowitz, 2009)

• "Back-channel" facilitators like "Uh-huh" and "Oh" (Cautilli et al., 2005)

And a few things not to do:

• unclear invitations like just saying "Tell me more" (Hershkowitz, 2011) or even "Tell me more about that" (Walker, 1993)

• Invitations as questions. This is a huge one for those of us from California. The invitations "You said X. Tell me more about X." can become "You said X?" with the right inflection. That turns it into a yes/no question and will pretty much stop a kid's narrative. (Evans & Roberts, 2009; Evans et al., 2010)"
time  children  interviewing  interviews  taching  parenting  communication  conversation  2013  openended  open-ended 
june 2013 by robertogreco

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