What Larry King Taught Me

Larry King has been one of many great hosts that I have really studied and even had the pleasure of meeting. Rather than “gotcha journalism” where a host is trying to catch the person being interviewed off guard or ask shock based questions Larry takes a different approach.

His interviews always come from a place of sincere curiosity and respect for the person being interviewed. His questions and comments always reflect both what he personally wants to know as well as what he believes his audience wants to know.

I call the is the art of agreeability and the power of avoiding absolutes. It’s about knowing when to go along for as long as you can. When you are conversing with someone, interviewing them, pitching them and even coaching them I find that there are some conversational responses that can be very effective when it comes to establishing good rapport.

They include statements like:
* I mostly agree with you
* That’s more right than it is wrong
* I don’t entirely disagree with you
* You have a point that a lot of people would agree with
* Your not alone in that opinion
* That mostly makes sense
* You’re asking the right questions
* You’re putting the odds in your favor
* I can see why you think that way or feel that way
* I’ve heard a lot worse ideas

The world has become very polarizing and although there is a time for tough love and head on “truth telling” you can accomplish so much more with relationship building based on love and understanding.

Suggestions are another powerful way to avoid conflict. Here are some examples of making suggestions in the form of questions:
* What if you (fill in the blank) ?
* What would it feel like if you could (fill in the blank) ?
* Why wouldn’t you just try (fill in the blank) ?
* What concerns you the most about (fill in the blank) ?
* What’s the worst thing that could happen?
* What’s the best thing that could happen?
* Any reason why haven’t you tried (fill in the blank) ?
* What if you tried (fill in the blank) ?
* What did you learn from (fill in the blank) ?
The power of finding common points of believing and living is more effective than you might currently realize. I’m not saying Larry uses the phrases I reference here rather I am just saying that we can learn from Larry’s kind approach and success.

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