Celebrating talent

I am delighted to be working in Dallas again, a place of many good memories and great events. A colleague gave me a copy of ‘Rolling Stone’ to read the March interview with Bruce Springsteen (which I highly recommend). I really enjoyed the interview by Jon Stewart, which seemed to provide so much insight – and reflected how different that is to many interviews I hear and read. Of course as a ‘rational’ I had to consider why that was – and the answer was simple.

Years ago I remember the great English chat show host, Michael Parkinson, talking about enjoying his interviews and treating them as ‘an exploration of his subjects talents’ because all were gifted in many ways. His open style gave some great moments. I contrast that with many other interviewers, who seem to glory in themselves and being provocative to gain a response and expose something their subject had no intention of revealing. Jon Stewart, who admittedly knows Bruce, uses short simple appreciative questions and gains lots of insight, appreciating his clients talents and letting them lose.

My question to you is when dealing with your people which approach do they feel? You sharing and exploring their unique talents to gain greater insight or a probing style designed to expose and create discomfort? Sure leaders sometimes do the latter – but more of the former may well give more value, engagement and better information.

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