I like coffee
I drink two American size mugs of coffee every morning between 7 and 9 am. That’s 12 ounces each! (350 ml). My cup is an elegant white bone china cup with a light curve that fits my hand perfectly, lovely on a cool morning.
But, I’m a sipper and my coffee gets cold as it sits on my desk.
I remember years ago when I was training in Japan. I went to a coffee shop, ordered a cuppa and was stunned to silence by the extremely small, delicate cup of coffee I was served. It must have only been 4, maybe 5 ounces at the most.
Hot fresh coffee, uhmm!
I hadn’t ordered an espresso, cappuccino, or other ‘small’ drink. And at first I was thinking .. Really? Is this all I get? It was a shock coming from an American coffee culture where a small cup comes as a ‘mug’ or in a large paper cup.
But what I found was this small, delicate, 5 oz coffee was one of the best cup of coffee I’d ever had. It was an awakening and I learned something important.
First, the Japanese roast a mean cup of coffee.
And second, when you drink your coffee from a small cup, the coffee stays hot from top to bottom and it tastes better.
No microwave needed, no throwing out cold coffee, and no tall cup to tip over on your lap top or desk when you talk with your hands .. Or your coffee table when your dog walks by and wags its tail.
I began to wonder, how is interviewing like drinking coffee from a small cup?
Here are two ways I’ve discovered:
- On a relational level, you want rapport and trust of your interviewee.Essentially you want to keep the interview warm from start to finish.
- At the questioning level, you want to be sure the interviewee can answer your questions easily and without confusion. You might say the interview stays warm from ask to answer.
If you go in with a big mug full of pre-formulated questions, pick lists, complex multi-segmented questions, or accidentally asking a question that takes your interviewee off-tangent, the interview can turn cold.
Without the two things above, an established sense of trust and easy to answer questions, an interview can easily become an intervention or even an interrogation.
There is no microwave to warm up a cold interview once it has been derailed. You’ve just got to let the work of friction … or reduction of friction do its work.
Here are a few other things Clean Language Questions in an interview process can help with…
Decrease & Reduce
- leading or content heavy questions
- dual or multi-content questions
- conflation of terms
- confirmation bias
- addition of content (that would be yours)
Increase & Develop
- questions that can be answered easily
- rapport & trust of the interviewee
- sequence or time lines
- data accuracy / authenticity
- better recall by your client (and you)
I would like to offer you a space at my Clean Language Interviewing workshop in January 2019 where I will be joined by one of the worlds primary experts on using Clean principles and questions in an interviewing frame.
~ You will learn to serve your questions in a small cup
~ You will have a resource for keeping rapport warm from beginning to end – even with the most difficult interviewees
~ You will have a functional way of repairing communication or mis-understandings
~ You will have principles to draw on that underlay what information you choose to ask about and how to formulate your questions
~ You will have a more flexible and useful notion of questions that out serves the over used and simplistic notion of ‘open’ and ‘closed’ questions
You will have a way of working with duel outcomes – when two or more people within the interview process have different or conflicting outcomes in:
- Qualitative interviewing
- Cause evaluation and
Are you curious?
Head over to our trainings tab or join one of our complimentary webinars under the work with Sharon tab. There you’ll find a link to sign up on a Tuesday of your choice.
Alright, until next time