Malcolm Gladwell discusses one of his “rules of conduct” for people:
[By default] I think everyone’s interesting.
When people are talking about something they know well and do well, they’re almost always interesting. And if they’re not, it’s generally your fault because you’re not asking the right questions and you haven’t made them comfortable. And once I learned that lesson, my journalism became a lot easier.
Everyone is interesting, and getting at interestingness, asking good questions to get people to open up, to reveal it, is what keeps me going. Whether people have natural obsessions revealed by someone else, whether we have to seek stories out, or whether people outright explain a craft they know well, there’s always a story to find.
The entire 60-minute interview covers a great deal of ground and is worth a listen to.