Great conversation is an essential building block to cultivating stronger relationships. So often, we miss out on the opportunity to truly engage with someone by sticking to small talk and pleasantries. To get to the heart of the person across the table, ask better questions.
At Contact Mapping, we are students of how to ask great questions and build trust. We call it The Coffee Shop Interview. Paying attention to how top interviewers ask questions was key in developing this method.
One of the all-time great interviewers is Cal Fussman. His name may not sound familiar, but chances are you have read one of his columns. Starting in 1998, Cal was the lead interviewer for the "What I've Learned" column, a fixture in Esquire magazine. He has interviewed the who's who of politics, entertainment, sports, you name it.
It wasn't until Cal appeared on Tim Ferriss' podcast in 2016 that we got a glimps into the man behind the keyboard. Cal is a master at telling not only the stories of those he interviews, but of sharing his own winding path to success. His stories of interviewing Mikhail Gorbachev and Muhammed Ali (on his second go-round on Tim's podcast) are truly amazing, and instructive.
In addition to his great questions, Cal has one of the best voices and most infectious laughs of just about anyone. The exciting news is, Cal just launched a podcast of his own!
To really take it full circle, the inaugural guest on Cal's podcast was Tim. It was enlightening hearing the tables turned on another of our favorite interviewers, and Cal's questions really got to the heart of how Tim achieved a wide range of successes. The interview goes a little long, so the first episode below is part one of two. If you enjoy it, make sure to subscribe!