“Engaged Listening helps you understand what’s going on around you, what people are thinking and feeling, threads of themes, and even what key pieces of the puzzle might be missing.” p. 74
How is your listening going lately? Could you use a tune up? In what situations might revving up your listening power help you learn more?
I have learned so much about the introvert qualities of listening and pausing as I wear my interviewer’s hat. Gathering research for a book on successful Introvert-Extrovert work partnerships, I listen to recorded stories driving around Atlanta, taking neighborhood walks, and sipping drinks at my local coffee shop. The audio recordings of these sessions reveal rich tapestries and clues and I am both moved and totally engaged. While the puzzle pieces are yet to be assembled, strong themes are emerging. I know that listening will provide the answers I need.
Engaged Listening is one of the introvert qualities that lead to successful interviewing. I hope you find some of these interviewing tips useful.
Provide questions to your interviewees before talking with them. It helps them to reflect on the answers. This is an introvert sweet spot btw. The responses you get will be thoughtful and well considered.
|Pause after asking a question. You extroverts might struggle with this one, but believe me, it works. Count “1, 2, 3” in your head and don’t try to fill the silence. Ask them if they need more time to think and then let them take it.
Record the interview with your interviewee’s permission. I use the recording feature on GoToMeeting and love it. Don’t worry about getting everything down on paper and replay the audio to hear voice tone and nuance.
|Ask open-ended follow-up questions to explore avenues that pique your interest. For instance, “Can you give me an example?” or “Take me back to that day and describe in more detail what occurred?”
|Encourage your interviewee’s questions. You might have overlooked what could turn out to be a nugget. A fave question of mine is “What question haven’t I asked you?”