The interview was with someone that I knew nothing about. He was the only individual I have ever met that has no web presence. None. Zip. Nothing. Put his name into a Google search and there are no hits. I could not find anyone with his name anywhere in the world. In an age where very little remains private, this was unnerving.
As we started our conversation, we shared one thing in common. Neither wanted to take anything for granted. At times, many of us do. I often take a positive framework before the evidence is in. Especially with individuals who are early in their careers, I begin with a bias. Without using words, it is as if I say to each “I’m assuming, now, that your belief was the real thing and not a passing fancy, that you’re in this for good and holding fast.” (1 Corinthians 15.2)
In this case, neither of us assumed anything.
It was a refreshing conversation. As we discussed the company, opportunities, and our perspectives, the conversation grew based on what we confirmed. We did not use presumptions as a foundation for questions. With each affirmation the openness and trust with the other party grew. The foundation expanded with the shared knowledge of our viewpoints.
To my surprise, there was an interesting twist in our conversation. The pace slowed down. Our stories and question has a natural flow to them. We were comfortably caught in the flow of the current for a time.
Additionally, there was a spirit of intense listening. Each appeared confident that he would be able to tell his story when it was right. Until then, it was a season of inquisitive hearing.
The curious and clarifying questions ebbed and flowed without hesitation. The two parties seemed to know that this was a safe place.
As I debrief minutes after the meeting, I was candid in my uncertainty of what was next. I had no idea! I knew that I had heard and been heard. I was richer for the conversation. I had also told my story.