Associative leads in conversation

Routines are healthy in some way. They reduce our effort, and somehow build a less risky environment from the point of daily operations. If you choose to confine your conscious mind on the tower of routines though, you notice straight away that they are an obstacle as much as they are of aid to a given day.

Whichever side you choose – blissful work bull or the melancholic-romantic task cruiser, my guess is that you will spend a good amount of time breaking free from the same frame you opted into. Taking into account this big picture, I often find myself talking to people out of necessity or because I am really looking for a good fit for a role we have to fill. Every now and again, I stumble upon a character I cannot categorize too quickly or fit into some categories I have made earlier, so I want to tell you about a technique we are all using sometimes – whether we know it or not.

What do you associate this carousel with?

Active conversations often lead to great insight

Please keep in mind, that when looking for skills, or testing the associative brainpower of a  human being, rushing or rigid tactics sometimes produce good and valid results, but you  also run the risk of becoming a part of your own spiderweb. The associative leads I am  mentioning come mid-way through the talk, because if have established some of the basic  information you need, but you are looking for weighted values of constructs such as family,  hobbies etc. If you have a five-minute chat with someone and you are attempting to strike  the center of the ecosystem (let’s just go with this term for now), then you’re fooling  yourself. It’s the routines I mentioned above.

To be more detailed, once you have gathered information about a candidate’s personal life,  career path so far, interests and skills, it may prove to be a good idea to present a short  summary to the candidate and try to assess where his or her heart lies about a topic. A good way to go will be to try to separate the fields a bit – since if they are too  close then associations need little time to pass from work life to personal life.

Example would be how a short commute to work is procuring more family time. So far so good, but you still wouldn’t know if family time means running around the house on chores or helping the kids with math. Maybe you need these details, maybe you don’t, but if the themes are not wide apart, then you will most probably have leads which all go to the same spot.

Giving the introductory information back to the person in the form of a puzzle would eventually allow you to see which one leads to the greatest joy or focus of this person’s system. This obviously relies on good interpersonal skills, and on a few other things will leave aside for now. The point is that a lot of conversations are left unfinished due to missing closure, which provides valuable feedback and contributes to the candidate experience.

Example of an interview going right


Photo by geezaweezer




1 Comment Associative leads in conversation

Leave a Reply