The Journalism Game

04.04.2016 |

Episode #5 of the course “Active listening” by Mircea Samoila


This is a small journalism game that should give you the opportunity to apply the concepts that we have covered so far. You will need to get another person involved—a friend, colleague, or family member.

Let’s begin!
You are a journalist. Your task is to find out more about your interlocutor. You have three minutes to ask questions. The aim is to try and get them to open up (in only three minutes!) so that you can find out something about them that is completely new to you. It’s even better if what you find out has a wow factor. What I mean is that you may discover their shoe size, but that is not really extraordinary information.

Now swap roles and go through another three-minute round. At the end of the game, stand up and introduce yourself as your interlocutor using the information that you found out in the “interview.”

There are no special instructions for the exercise, so there’s no reason to fear making mistakes. Simply see if you can keep yourself curious (no matter how well you believe you know the person you are interviewing), try to discover information that is valuable to you or your interlocutor, and have fun learning about them.

Immediately after the exercise, reflect on the experience and write down anything that seems memorable about it. You can use some (or none of) these questions to guide you:

– How did I feel?
– What felt uncomfortable?
– What was enjoyable?
– What has changed in the way I see my interlocutor?
– How has the experience changed me?
– How did I deal with the judgmental/opinionated voice in my head trying to butt in?

Having exercised our curiosity (as well as our journalism skills), we will begin exploring the specific techniques that make listening active—and therefore efficient—tomorrow.

“Knowing comes from learning, finding from seeking.”
-Vaddey Ratner


Recommended book

“How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: The Secrets of Good Communication” by Larry King


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