Ripley said that she thought her 20 years of journalism experience had honed her listening and interviewing skills. And then she received mediation training from Gary Friedman, a lawyer, experienced mediator and co-founder of the Center for Understanding in Conflict .
She changed her work habits.
“I had to actually listen to what they were saying, not just think of my next question,” she told the Charlotte audience.
She now practices “looping for understanding,” a term that involves distilling, restating and reflecting back to the person she is interviewing. She checks to ensure she captured the interviewee’s statements correctly. She keeps restating and reflecting and looping until she hears someone say “yes,” or “exactly,” just as I did. She focuses on illuminating what’s behind strong or unexpected words, superlatives and nonverbal cues. It sounds self-evident to some journalists, but this isn’t often what we practice. We interview for the quote; we get the quote and post the story. Looping isn’t about getting an accurate quote; it’s about getting deeply held beliefs portrayed accurately.
She also is curating with other journalists a list of questions that help her move underneath conflict — to a person’s values, beliefs and experiences. An example: “How has this conflict affected your life?” And “What is oversimplified about this issue?”
Repetition matters. “You don’t ask important questions just once,” Ripley said. “People don’t actually articulate their innermost feelings with 100 percent clarity on the first attempt.”
Leaders of journalists — not just reporters — can learn
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/business-work/2019/think-that-as-a-journalist-youre-a-great-listener-and-questioner-think-again-then-do-something-about-it/