Re: The Covert Interview

Subject: Re: The Covert Interview
From: Lori Lathrop <76620 -dot- 456 -at- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 1995 18:10:57 EST

Susan W. Gallagher (INTERNET:sgallagher -at- STARBASECORP -dot- COM) said:

> ... it was like pulling teeth to get information out of him.

> I finally got the truth out of him. He'd gotten straight D's in
> English all through school and was absolutely petrified to make
> a grammer mistake in front of me! I was so damned good at it that
> **I** intimidated **him** (I'm all, whoa dude! Go Figure!!!).

> So that's helped me figure this all out. It's not me they're
> afraid of... It's still the high school English teacher looming
> over their keyboard that has 'em freaked! Ever since then, I've
> been very aware of the image I present, and it's helped!

That reminds me of a similar experience. Once, when I handed a
programmer a handwritten note with a couple of questions I had, his
response surprised me. He glanced at it briefly, then threw it down
on my desk and barked, "I don't read anything that isn't *printed*."

For a moment, I thought he was insulting my handwriting, which I've
always thought was pretty good. Then, it occurred to me that he might
be dyslexic. From then on, I always made it a point to *talk* with him
more and, if I had to give him something written, I either printed it
as neatly as I could or I gave it to him as a computer printout. I
also made it a point never to hang around while he deciphered it.
Later, when he got to know me a little better, he talked about his
problem with dyslexia and, of course, I *acted* surprised.

Judging from the other contributions to this thread, it seems that
the covert interview is often the best communication strategy, for
a variety of reasons. Interesting ....

Lori Lathrop ----------> INTERNET:76620 -dot- 456 -at- compuserve -dot- com

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