Transcript for "Curiosity - with Steve McCready"

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00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Constantine good it’s great the weather finally broke here in Pennsylvania I’m not dying from the heat I’m here today with Steve Mccready Steve is a coach and the host of the sensitive rebel podcast welcome Steve.

00:01.70
Steve
Hey Craig how’s it going man.

00:18.30
podcomm
I Want I’m always I’m a curious being I always say so I’m curious which works out perfectly because as we were discussing upfront Hey, let’s talk about curiosity and I’m wondering I Just like to give everybody like a softball like when I say Curiosity What does that. What do you think of when you think about curiosity in the context of podcasting.

00:39.13
Steve
So for me in the in the context of podcasting curiosity is a driving force in the interviews that I do with my guests. It’s it’s about an I like to think of it in it like an open curiosity often in that phrase where it’s like I’m. Waiting for things that kind of ping my interest or attention and we’ll go wonder about them like huh. That’s interesting to me, let me dig a little bit deeper. Let me explore a little bit more… They’re not really knowing what’s going to show up but. Finding that if I pay attention to that that interest that curiosity that’s in my brain that little like Ping. This is you know, go go explore there that almost inevitably there is going to be something that comes out that will be of interest.

01:16.85
podcomm
Um.

01:23.39
podcomm
Yeah, and the curiosity I was going to say it’s hard to fake being honestly curious. But there’s got to be somebody who can do that but I don’t think I can do it I’m that’s just generally who I am so it’s it’s like super easy to do right? You just go like hey that’s interesting. And point at the thing you want more of.

01:40.29
Steve
Right? I mean maybe I’ll have this experience at some point but I don’t at least you know with the podcast I have not had the experience of being of having a hard time being curious people are interesting. People have their own unique identities and quirks and things about them and. So. There’s always I think interesting stuff to be found. It’s often about just being willing to think for a minute take things in and I’m not really conscious about how I go about being curious. So if anyone wants to know my tips for that i. I don’t I don’t have 1 beyond like work with people 1 on one and explore you know, deep things for a long time as I’ve done professionally but it’s just about paying attention to what sticks out and again digging a little deeper so that idea of tell me more. But in a little bit of a more focused and deliberate way rather than that general one although that obviously can work if you’re like okay I want to I want to go deeper here but I’m really not sure where or how.

02:43.72
podcomm
Um, yeah, that’s that’s a good point. Um I’m glad you brought up both the idea of I don’t really know how this trick works like I just I just do it and it works. Um. Because that makes me think about how much preparation you know I do how much you do how much one out there should do um and I’m I’m wondering you and I had talked a little bit beforehand and you mentioned that you don’t prepare a big one list of questions and and I’m ultralasia I don’t even although sometimes I think I really should. Don’t even have an opening question ready for you know when I’m doing like big interviews I’m thinking I probably should at least have a first pitch. Um, so can you can talk me through your process of why do you only do a small number of questions like prepared that you bring with you.

03:28.55
Steve
What I find happens if I start worrying about the questions and paying too much attention to the questions. It becomes a distraction from me being present to what my guest is bringing right? I do have an opening question. I Always start with it’s really since straightforward it’s what are you rebelling against and depending on what they say I kind of go. You know, go from there and I’m paying attention to how that emerges the context in which it emerges and thinking about where do I want to where do I want to kind of wander From. Um I do make some notes to myself sometimes about either certain topics I Just want to make sure that I touch on or I’ll ask my guests you know is there a specific area you would like to make sure we give some attention to and I’ll I’ll be kind of I won’t necessarily deliberately go there but I kind of keep it. It’s like in the corner of my mind where I’m aware that that’s a place I want to go and when the conversation wanders into that neighborhood I’ll kind of give it a little bit of a nudge over that way to help it go there right? It’s like okay oh cool, we’re close enough. Let’s just take this a little bit of a you know a little bit of a pivot to the right? and.

04:32.28
podcomm
Little spring in my step. Yes, we’re going this way.

04:42.32
podcomm
Yeah, um I Once most of the interviews that I do for my main project I do them in person which I don’t That’s a huge like that’s a lot of work but I do them that way for other reasons because of how the space it creates and and how the interpersonal interaction works.

04:42.94
Steve
And there we go.

05:01.95
podcomm
Um, but for a while I did last year I did a challenge to myself like okay I’m going to do 45 minute interviews over Zoom calls which means we’re going to have laggy jittery you know audio and video and I thought how am I going to get up to speed in a hurry and I picked a question to start with and my question was um. Haven’t done this in a while thinking back on your childhood. What role did movement play as you were growing up which is sort of modeled around. It’s Krista Tippett’s what role did religion play when you’re growing up or there’s other people who ask questions like what was dinner. What was it like around the dinner table at home and.

05:35.51
Steve
And.

05:40.66
podcomm
So your question about what are you rebelling against obviously plays into um like if you don’t know who Steve is you’re like ah how does create write his website um plays into your focus of what you’re doing with your coaching and I’m wondering. Do you ever foresee getting.

05:52.60
Steve
Yeah, yeah.

05:59.60
podcomm
Personally tired of asking the same question and and when if you think that happens are you going to just be like no I’m going to stick with it and see what happens if I go beyond the hard part of me like what are you rebelling against.

06:10.75
Steve
I will see like I’m not I’m not attached to it one way or another I wasn’t even attached like at first I didn’t want to actually have a a like use the same question every time but going back to when I was doing the podcasting workshop.

06:20.10
podcomm
Um.

06:27.80
Steve
And yeah, one of the one of the lessons right is about generating some questions and I’m like just trying to think of questions and it completely. It was just completely Ram like I don’t know I could ask them what they’re rebelling against and what I started sharing there people. They’re like oh that’s a cool question and guess.

06:40.90
podcomm
Um, did you have the podcast title at that point or okay.

06:44.34
Steve
Um I did have the podcast title already I’d known the podcast title for a while so it but it was like okay sure that relates to the title. It’s kind of fun who knows what’ll come up, but it’s been great and it’s funny because even people like guests know now it’s It’s no secret that you’re gonna get asked that right. It’s like there’s like.

06:56.71
podcomm
Right.

07:01.46
Steve
There’s all all these other episodes that it’s the same thing every time right? It’s like so they know but even then still sometimes they’ll be like oh right? because it’s there’s something about that question that seems to get people turning inward a little bit and really asking themselves right? What am I What am I kind of rebelling against what am I.

07:02.38
podcomm
Stuck with the same.

07:13.82
podcomm
Um.

07:20.98
Steve
What’s it’s really about getting it change right? What are you trying to where are you trying to upend or shift the status quo and that’s that’s really what I’m getting at but it sounds cooler to say what are you rebelling against.

07:29.38
podcomm
Mm. Well, there’s nothing but I’m a big fan of wordsmithing you know for like what is the in a good Way. What is the surgical best cut that you can make So What are what’s the perfect like some words don’t work so well when you try and bang them through pop filters and microphones and some have. They’re high or they’re low. So I’m totally down with it’s a great question I Love that it’s short. Um and that it’s concise and and cogent. Um, but before I distract myself I was thinking. Um, we’re talking about curiosity as this like. Fuzzy Magic trait that we don’t really understand because I really don’t understand how my curiosity works and I’m wondering. Are you finding um threads in where your curiosity keeps taking you. So if you’re you know if you’re doing these podcasts which are curiosity-driven. When you look back now you’re like in the twenty I think I say 20 something when you look back? well round up 202020202020? Um, well you call it 20 call it 25 and they know um.

08:28.34
Steve
Um, nineteen is I think yeah, do thank you I appreciate that we’ll call it 20

08:40.77
podcomm
But when you look back are you are you seeing like Steve seems to be drawn to the same things or or is the curiosity just all over the map based on who you’re talking to.

08:48.61
Steve
I I think it varies a lot there are there are certain themes that I’m seeing emerge as far as some of the different rebellions that are going on right? There are certain ones that that show up but the context in what they in which they show up is. Somewhat variable and I’m paying attention to where the energy is is really what a lot of it’s about is so I’m going to follow the energy because my goal is yes I want to to pull out some things from there.

09:11.84
podcomm
Um.

09:23.77
Steve
Their story and their experience to serve as possibly a model or an example or an inspiration to my listeners but I also want to use it as as it’s a platform to spotlight them and I want to let them be involved and in what they. But they spotlight so with some people we may get way into the personal side of things with other people. It’s focused very much on business this interview one of the ones I did this week that’ll be coming out is like entirely a business There’s very little about like their their childhood or history and about other ones where it’s extensively. About that right? So it can go either way and it’s just about me again seeing what they’re giving me and what and then so partially following the energy partially following what feels like oh there’s something here that I think is going to be worth exploring. Um. And I’m sure there’s of course my own kind of personal biases or interests that show up if someone will mention something that’s ah, a topic that I have I interviewed someone this week who he’s got in the background. He’s got like 2 guitars sitting there and so we ended up talking about guitar. He’s a writer I get there’s no reason otherwise we would have done that but it’s like I play guitar he plays guitar so we.

10:18.82
podcomm
Sure.

10:36.33
Steve
You know, kind of kind of riff on that So I’m I’m always just watching for things that are there and i’ll’ll poke at them and see and I won’t force it right? because if I kind of poke at a thread and the person’s just like hey I’m like okay fine.

10:38.52
podcomm
What catches.

10:47.31
podcomm
Um, by that you mentioned following the energy because that’s um I was said I don’t know how this works but but people often I’ve had people say directly to me like I don’t get it. How do I be curious. How do I how do I do that in a podcasting context. How do I make how do i. How do I actually? um you know make that into a thing I can do and the the first thing is you have to spot the potential I think and looking for you know where did the guests suddenly go from well some guests or some guests are para are paralyzed with nervousness. Some guests are frenetic with panic like i.

11:24.15
Steve
M.

11:24.46
podcomm
Think I’ve seen it all at this point. Um, but so you have to sort of like there’s different kinds of energy. But you’re looking for a certain kind of energy. Um, and I’m just wondering if there’s um, if you’ve if you’ve encountered different kinds of energy and if you if you if there’s a particular kind or if you have a way of describing What kind.

11:40.21
Steve
Um, it’s that’s a a good question and because I I would probably have to like step back and go thinking about it more analytical in the moment I’m operating in a very I think intuitive sort of sense and again this is this is a thing that’s it’s just.

11:51.52
podcomm
Um, holistic.

11:58.46
Steve
It’s trained from years and years of my work of being in the room with people working 1 on 1 with them and trying to pay attention to what’s what’s going on and engaging with that and so there’s a lot of this that’s just automatic for me. At this point I think so.

12:06.95
podcomm
Are.

12:17.22
Steve
You know if I yeah I haven’t really tried like I’ve had a couple cases and I’m thinking about this in the context of of working as a as a podcaster where I’ve seen people whose energy was. You know was off in a way that I think was may have impacted or limited the the interview a little bit and I haven’t yet taken the step of kind of intervening on that or making an observation or saying something to them I had an interview recently where someone kept as they were making their points. They kept like.

12:42.48
podcomm
Yeah.

12:51.22
Steve
Pumping their table and it was like and and I was like I didn’t even realize it at first and I was like oh should I say something and I didn’t want to disrupt them and I didn’t and so now of course I’ve got a bunch of like noise removal work to do in post-production.

12:59.67
podcomm
Um, sometimes you can just tell like oh if I try to change that I’m going to derail. Yeah, there’s there’s ah, a certain amount of I call it verbal jujitsu that’s involved in having a great conversation and I’ve said this a lot. There’s.

13:12.79
Steve
Yes.

13:19.50
podcomm
There’s be a great conversation partner as 1 whole skill set. Some people are really good at that. Some people need to really work on that. But then there’s the whole thing of create an audio experience for the listeners which is built ah built on upon a conversation like those are 2 different things and I find that. Part of the fun for me is like how much can I get in here intentionally being curious or intentionally you know like look a pretzel vendor. You know, like just doing random not literally that but doing random things which then caused that person’s energy to change.

13:49.35
Steve
Sure.

13:55.53
podcomm
Um, so have you have you explored or experimented with anything or any interesting insights in that manipulation Manipulation vein.

13:59.90
Steve
I I haven’t yet that’s an interesting thing probably something that I’ll that’ll end up trying it some at some point. Um, but you no no, it’s it’s fine. Yeah, you can well you can apologize to my guests who are the ones I’ll try it on and we’ll see how that.

14:09.35
podcomm
I’m sorry.

14:13.97
podcomm
Um.

14:17.62
Steve
How that goes but but I’m thinking I’m thinking about it. You know, just in the context of the curiosity and what what am I doing and I said part of it’s what sticks out to me part of it is this thing that I have again and increasingly learned and and is such a fundamental piece to the coaching work that I do right is about kind of. Taking what you get and then pushing a little bit deeper right? just pushing a little bit further and asking something and a lot of it is about what piece I think is either going to be what’s going to be the most interesting where do I feel like they have the most energy or in some cases. It’s about.

14:40.18
podcomm
Um.

14:54.79
Steve
What do I think is going to be of most relevance to some of the folks who are listening to the podcast and that will sometimes lead to me going a direction that I think is not the direction. The guest would have gone and that can.

15:11.66
podcomm
Yeah, have a good or bad right.

15:11.71
Steve
Yeah, go both ways. But I’ve I’ve had a couple of guests comment. They’re like right we like I didn’t expect that I would end up talking about that and they didn’t seem distressed about it. So I’m like good and I would have of course edited it out if they didn’t want to but it’s you know, but it’s kind of like we could go on these little little turns because I’m again thinking from the context Of. What is my listener going to be wondering about and what am I trying to give them and how can I Poker Probe a little bit deeper or more broadly in that area to to get at it right? And that’s that’s one of the things that’s underlying it. But again in the moment I’m not consciously really thinking that I I. This is some of my preparation notes I’ll think about those areas but in the moment I really have to just be kind of running really spontaneously and it’s It’s really just a yeah, it’s conversation. It’s improv almost in the moment because anything else. It just gets super stiff and awkward really fast for me and.

15:51.90
podcomm
Um, yeah.

16:07.39
Steve
That’s not very interesting to listen to.

16:08.40
podcomm
I would I would agree wholehearted. There’s ah, there’s a couple things you touched on in there I would agree and this isn’t the word you use. But I often say podcasting is a performance art where the guest most guests are not expecting to be performing I mean some of them like if it’s doing the book. Junket. Yes, they’re expecting but most guests are not expecting to be co-performing on a trapeze act with you. Um, and and you strike me as someone who is very mindful of you know? Um I think it was Jule and I were talking about our responsibilities that we have because of the asymmetry of power.

16:31.11
Steve
Right.

16:45.33
podcomm
Um, because we’re the person who’s supposed to be leading and where’re this person asking questions and where the person doing editing. Um, So I Love how fffle you are about all that how you bring all those pieces. Um, you know you’re’re not you don’t want them like right on the table like these are the instruments I’m going to torture you with you know, but like they’re they’re like. They’re like under the table out of sight like no I have all these tools at my disposal which I’m only using for good um, which which made me think of I Love This is so many It’s a conversation about curiosity with me trying to be curious about um so from what I understand correct me if I’m Wrong. You came from a more I’m going to say standard at what people would expect therapy like as a therapist. Um, and then I’m going to it. It seemed to me like you feel like you enjoy the freedom of ah I don’t want to say a more modern but like a more generic coaching.

17:23.31
Steve
Right.

17:37.17
podcomm
Type of role and I’m wondering. Do you find that podcasting is like where you went next because it’s a different kind of freedom or it’s more free or is like is that feel like a progression to you.

17:48.69
Steve
It’s I wouldn’t say it is so much as a progression as much as a parallel because it’s not… It’s not intended like you know I have I have no goal of this being like the thing that I do instead of coaching by any means but it’s a nice parallel. It’s another what it really comes down to is. It’s another way I can serve. People and the audience that I’m trying to serve because one of the things that is very very true for the folks that I work with the sensitive Rebels as I call them is they often feel isolated they feel alone. They feel like some weirdo. There’s no one like them and so when I have guests.

18:19.47
podcomm
M.

18:25.74
Steve
Who have wrestled with some of the same things who had some of the same struggles some of the same thoughts and I put that out there I’m like no, you’re not alone listen to these right here’s here’s all of this but it’s such an important thing for them to see right that that’s there and and at the same time same token for my guests.

18:31.18
podcomm
Um, right? yeah.

18:45.63
Steve
Some of them are people who have a hard time putting themselves out there being seen and so if I can do something to put a little bit of a spotlight on them and who they are that is I’m I’m happy to do that now tying this back to what you were saying about the progression from therapy to coaching one of the things for me that. Coaching is a lot more possibility oriented I think versus problem oriented you know, get a little generalizing there. But I think that’s true and I am much as I can be very cynical about certain things I am a just a infinite undying believer in the possibility of people. And what they’re capable of and I think that’s also a lot of what drives my kind of my curiosity and where my questions are Oriented. It’s looking for possibilities looking for strengths looking for connections and how do we take those highlight them build on them and emphasize them I think that’s. Again, A driving force underneath I’m not conscious of any of that in the moment I can tell you but but it’s really there because that’s that’s the thing for me is my job as a coach is to help people be what they’re truly capable of being as a podcaster I’m trying to want.

19:44.42
podcomm
I mean.

20:01.25
Steve
You know shine the spotlight on these people in a way and and illustrate them and I think through that it gives me an opportunity to do a similar thing ah of of kind of highlighting things. They might not necessarily have even seen or recognized themselves and that’s one of the things I do do I’ll be connecting dots Sometimes I’ll be like this seems like this and they’re like oh I’d never thought of that.

20:17.87
podcomm
Oh that.

20:20.70
Steve
You know and that’s it’s It’s a little bit of a coaching move. Although it’s not intended as such. It’s more just a I’m showing hey here’s this cool connection or here’s this this strength that maybe you didn’t recognize or something.

20:29.15
podcomm
Um, yeah I think you’ve you’ve connected a bunch of different ideas there that I that I’m really curious about but I’m also mindful of our time. Yes I don’t know I think I think one of the hardest parts of podcasting is knowing how to stop. At the end of an episode. Some people say starting is what I’m like ah problem starting I have problem stopping but I really liked how you how you point out what you’re doing and that you’re aware of but what you’re doing with the podcast and how that’s ah, a different way of serving and I I think sometimes people think. Um, that people who create podcast think that there’s like 1 yes, every every podcaster is different but there’s got to be the 1 thing that I should be doing with my podcast and I’m an inveterate podcaster I have one that I don’t have anymore and 3 that um, it’s like I have too many of them. Um I have a problem is is podcast anonymous thing. Um, but I think your your point is really good about this is what I’m doing now and and you had said I don’t know that I have a specific like there’s not an end game here and do this as long as it’s interesting which I think is a great mindset. So yeah. Unless you have anything else. You want to throw in I think that’s a terrific guide.

21:45.49
Steve
Any yeah, no that I think that that I think that I was go to say any closing thoughts. Um I’d love I like you that the ending thing for me I’ve always it is actually the other place where I tend to be fairly consistent I’ll usually ask people about kind of you know what are you working on now or what’s coming up next next for you. Is a place that it’s a it’s it’s one It’s a way of getting at the you know, kind of where where we are and what’s the future which is ah it kind of creates a nice closing point of sorts and 2 it tends to give them again. It’s another opportunity to be like hey what’s where’s your attention and energy. What’s exciting and I may ask. Ah. Couple follow-up questions around that but that’s one of the ways that I’ve found to to both work towards a closure point but to do it in a way that is still got some curiosity and openness to it and at least I think that’s what’s going on I wasn’t conscious about that I’m just. Thinking through it as I’m talking here as people can probably tell.

22:41.15
podcomm
Um, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Well Steve thank you very much for giving me a half hour of your time today for us to get a chance to actually I don’t know that we’ve actually spoken before but it was super fun.

22:54.59
Steve
Not direct. Yeah, we know we haven’t directly I move interacted plenty in in the various forms and stuff right? and I’ll help that so but I well and thank you for for creating this community because um, it’s I think something. There’s definitely a need for and I know there’s no lack of of work going and putting something like that together. So kudos to you for.

22:58.14
podcomm
Again, Hollywood Square style.

23:13.99
Steve
Being the one willing to step im going to and say like yeah I’m goingnna I’m going to make this thing happen.

23:17.70
podcomm
Well thank you for saying so but it’s totally my pleasure. It’s just my guilty pleasure I love doing it I like it I get to hang out people I want to talk to I get hang out people. Talk about the things I want to talk about so but yes, thank you for saying so all right? Well let’s call it a day. Thanks Steve.

23:26.56
Steve
Very cool. Yeah, thank you.