Setting an Atmosphere for Stories to be Shared
The best of the best in the field of interviewing people for their LifeStories is Terry Gross, host of National Public Radio's program Fresh Air. I just listened to another one of her great interviews, last Wednesday's live interview she conducted in New York City with another favorite of mine, Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show http://www.thedailyshow.com/. One of the ingredients to her success is that she sets an atmosphere that makes the interviewees feel comfortable. This is mentioned on the profile of Terry at NPR's website http://tinyurl.com/95g6m. "Gross isn't afraid to ask tough questions, but she sets an atmosphere in which her guests volunteer the answers rather than surrender them. What often puts those guests at ease is Gross' understanding of their work. 'Anyone who agrees to be interviewed must decide where to draw the line between what is public and what is private. But the line can shift, depending on who is asking the questions,' observes Gross. 'What puts someone on guard isn't necessarily the fear of being 'found out.' It sometimes is just the fear of being misunderstood.'" How can you set an atmosphere for talking with people who will lead to stories being shared? I will be addressing this in my blog posts this week. The great thing about learning how to set such a safe atmosphere is it will inevitably lead to better communication skills in all areas of your life! Stay tuned for tomorrow's post: Setting Atmospheric Ground Rules.