#274 Enough Rope Interviewing Technique
Enough Rope Interviewing Technique’ (from the Musea vaults)
I like to take walks in my neighborhood. Sometimes people will drive by with their car stereos obnoxiously blasting! Instead of yelling ‘turn it down!’ I say, ‘turn it UP!’. Why? Because it puts them in a dilemma: If they turn it up any louder, they’ll blow out their speakers. If they’re scared to turn it up, they look wussy and the ultimate purpose of the loud stereo is to look cool. See how it works? Now let’s say we’re interviewing the chief exec of General Electric, John F. Welch Jr., called ‘Neutron Jack” for eliminating people but leaving the buildings standing. If we ask him, “Don’t you think the number of layoffs was excessively harsh?”, he has a ready answer: blah, blah, blah, blah. Then if we ask him, “Isn’t it wrong for you to get such huge bonuses and salaries for putting so many of your employees out of work?” He’s got another stock answer: blah, blah, blah, blah. Etc.
Now remember our stereo blaster? What if we asked Neutron Jack this question, “Don’t you think you stopped laying off people too soon?” If he says ‘yes’ he looks like even a worse ogre. If he says ‘no’ then he has implied that laying off people has limits and to go beyond that, even one job, is wrong; thus calling into question the whole validity of massive layoffs at certain levels.
Our Next Question: “Don’t you think you deserved more salary and bonuses for your restructuring?” Again if he says ‘yes’ he looks like Scrooge to the Nth power. If he says ‘no’ then he has implied that his bonuses and salaries have reached a limit and beyond that would be excessive – thus suggesting limits on his own worth. It’s called the ‘(give them) Enough Rope Interviewing Technique’, a Musea invention that I think you’ll be hearing of more and more in the future.