“Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn’t you like to have that?” Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?”

Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

 

When I first began my podcast, it was so easy to get bogged down by the questions I wanted answered. To outline specific points that I had to touch on or I would think the interview went horribly wrong. Over time, however, I came to see that my questions were really secondary to trying to get my guest to tell his or her story. I learned the art of actually listening and trying to just hold a conversation with the person on the other end of the line. Rather than forcing the discussion into my “perfect” mold, I try now to let it take whatever form most naturally comes. Interviewing taught me how to listen, and though I am still ever learning, I know better than to panic when a conversation seems to be going in a direction I never planned. I just go with the flow (or try my best to, at least), and make strawberries and cream out of what I might have once thought were worms.