How to get any Aussie bloke to open up and talk - Marty Wilson & Daniel Gregory
While writing our book What I Wish I Knew at Eighteen,
we talked with over 50 men – including some not exactly known for being
chatty like Father of the Year, Wayne Bennett – and discovered that
Aussie blokes do open up under the right circumstances. We’d like to
pass on a few tips to get anyone – even grumpy old dads and granddads –
to open up and pass on some of their Conversational Wisdom.
- Men love doing so get active with your dad or granddad before
trying to talk. Fix something, make something or go somewhere together
and get that shared experience between you first.
- Ask about what he did before probing for how he felt or thought: ‘What did you do on a typical Friday night dad?’
- Get dad or granddad talking about ‘the old days’ in the third
person so he doesn’t feel it’s all about him: ‘What were people’s
attitudes to money when you were young Dad?’ or ‘Who taught you about
life when you were my age? Who did you admire when you were growing up?
- Ask open-ended, but specific questions. Don’t say ‘Was life
different when you were 18 Granddad?’ because he’ll say: ‘Yes.’ Try
asking ‘What do you think was harder/easier about being a teenager
different in your time Granddad?’
- If we’ve learned anything by writing this book it’s that
everyone wants to be heard and everyone has a story that deserves to be
told. So make the effort, we guarantee your dad or granddad knows stuff
that would make a difference to your life. As we say in What I Wish I
Knew at Eighteen: None of us have all the answers, but we’ve all got a