How to be more curious as a podcast host with Harris Fanaroff

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Episode Summary

Warren Berger, the author of A More Beautiful Question, states that kids ask an average of 40,000 questions between the ages of 2 and 5. And this natural curiosity sparks a lot of growth in an individual’s earlier years.

But at some point in time, people grow out of their natural curiosity and focus more on answers. And this prevents further growth from happening. 

In this episode, Tristan Pelligrino welcomes Harris Fanaroff on the show. Harris is a podcast host and founder of Activate Onboarding. And during this conversation, we learn how you can get your curiosity back by focusing on several key shifts in your mindset. And you’ll be able to take these tools to spark more curiosity as a podcast host.

Harris and Tristan also touch upon the idea of NOT being the most intelligent person in the room (and how it drives growth) and how posting on LinkedIn and Twitter impacted Harris’s career.

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Episode Highlights

Curiosity Is What Makes a Great Podcast Host 

”If you come in with a mindset that everybody has something to teach you and you have something to learn from everyone, that mindset allows you to go wherever the person at the end of the conversation in the podcast wants to go, and that’s where the magic is. That’s where you can find what gets somebody excited. What is their passion? And then inside that passion is where they’ve done a lot of research. They’re experts in that. […]

An eight-year-old has something to teach me, and so does my 91-year-old grandma. So there’s something in every single conversation that I can learn from, and that’s what I like — to approach every single person as if they’re experiencing life and seeing the world in a different way. And so let’s figure out what that is because there’s probably something for me to learn.”

The Importance of a Question-Focused Approach

”When you’re going into a conversation with somebody, and they are just talking, you are super unengaged and uninterested in what they’re saying. So no matter how smart they are, if they’re constantly talking, it’s like, ‘Get me out of this conversation.’ […] 

When I have a typical client conversation, I don’t want to talk for more than 30% of the time. […] There are times when I’ll talk a little bit about my solution. But for the most part, I wanna make sure that I’m asking a lot of questions and getting to the root of their problem and having them speak rather than me constantly providing answers.”

Being Selfish Has a Negative Connotation, But It Is Critical for the Podcast 

”When it comes to being a podcast host, in a way, you have to be selfish because of what your audience is looking for. I run a podcast for leaders in the HR space. And so, I want to make sure that anybody listening to my podcast is getting tactics that would help them if they are in the HR space.

So if we go down a rabbit hole into something else, it is my job as the podcast host to pull us back to, ‘Okay, what would my audience care about?’ I’ve made this promise that we’re going to talk about topics related to HR, whether that’s why you got into HR, where you see HR going, what are some of the trends; that’s why people are coming to listen to this.

So, we will go down certain rabbit holes and what excites them, but you also gotta manage that with, ‘This is what I promise my audience when they listen to this show.’”

Don’t Be Afraid to Share Your Ideas With the World, Especially on Social Media 

”I lurked on Twitter and LinkedIn for a very long time. I started at the beginning of 2022, and I was like, ‘I’m gonna post every day or five times a week.’ It’s hard in the beginning; you’re posting, and you’re like, ‘Does anybody care about what I’m saying?’

But […] it takes a little time to build momentum. That’s how you get connected to people like yourself. I’ve met so many amazing people like myself by sharing my story and my view of the world.

It’s amazing what it’s done for my career. So another shout-out to do that. And if you’re struggling to do that, start, and you’ll find your group. You’ll find people who like what you’re sharing.

It can be hard, but you end up having awesome conversations and meeting people like yourself. There are benefits to putting yourself out there and posting and sharing what’s going on in your universe and your world because you’re an expert in that.”