I’m beginning to wonder if people have lost the ability to think about others.
I host the Screw the Naysayers Podcast. I amplify the voices of people with stories that need to be shared with a goal of encouraging people to shatter self-limiting beliefs, get practical advice on overcoming adversity and on living the life you want.
As of today I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to have in depth conversations with 140 amazing people from 6 continents. Publishing new guest episodes every Monday and Wednesday is more of a grind than many people realize. And things get a little bit more challenging during the summer. That means I sometimes record 4 interviews in a 3-4 day period.
Good Podcast Episodes Don’t Just Happen I get a lot of praise from my guests for the conversational style and free flowing nature of our conversations. Time seems to fly by. Here’s the thing. This doesn’t just happen. I invest a significant amount of time and money in the production of my show. These investments are mine and mine alone. I do not have advertisers or sponsors and I don’t do any direct marketing of my business mentoring services on my show.
Guest Onboarding At the outset I invest a lot of time in the guest recruitment and onboarding process, making sure that each guest has a story that aligns with the theme of my show. I also pride myself on inviting an eclectic mix of people to join me. Some names are recognizable and have big social media followings. Others have never appeared on a podcast before. Even as my show grows in popularity I’m trying hard to keep the door open to people that are not yet well known. When I extend an invitation guests are given a link to my calendar and can book a time that is convenient.
Prepping For The Actual Interview Once a guest accepts the real work starts at my end. The day before the interview I spend a minimum of two hours doing background research. I don’t use any set or prepared questions on my podcast (with the exception of an ice breaker that is the same for every episode). I do the research the day before the show so everything is fresh in my mind.
The Interview When the time comes for the interview my job is to be an active listener, offer short insights, and ask follow up questions. This is where my research comes into play. And of course I have to keep my eye on the clock and ensure we end on time.
Production And Marketing With the help of a paid support team we then identify a 60 second clip and prepare a captioned video clip to promote the episode. We edit the sound files dealing with background noises, lost connections, and mic issue. We prepare cover art work for the episode and upload the episode to a paid service that then distributes the episode to all the major podcast platforms. After the episode is released we put a major push on all of our social media channels.
Guest Obligations I don’t ask much from my guests. There is no advance prep required and the technical requirements are minimal. Although not mandatory I encourage my guests to help in the promotion of the episode on their social media channels. The other thing I expect is professional courtesy. When guests book a time on my calendar they are given a link they can use to reschedule. I get it, we’re all busy and sometimes things come up.
Is Professional Courtesy A Success Marker? I don’t get many rescheduled interviews, but a trend is definitely emerging. The more successful the guest the less likely they are to make a change. And if a change is required there is always advance notice. I think it’s because they have learned to respect the time of the people they work with. These guests are simply treating me the way they expect to be treated.
Sadly, the trend I’m observing is that lesser known guests are the ones who reschedule the most. Last night I drew a line in the sand when an appointment was rescheduled with less than 24 hours notice (substantially less). The reason given was legit (I would have rescheduled if it was me). Here’s the thing. This person has to have known for sometime that they would be wanting to reschedule. It wasn’t a last minute thing. It was simply a case of not bothering to let me know until the last minute.
Not Good Enough When I messaged back expressing my thoughts about the late notification, the reply included “My apologies for the late notice, sometimes I have to move around my calendar like this.”
I responded saying that rescheduling wasn’t the issue but the late notice was. And I also pointed out that she had been personally recommended to me (that carries a lot of weight with me).
The final message I received, before I cancelled the rescheduled interview, said “I’d still like to reschedule if you’re up for it, but I’m not going to be made to feel this awful about it.”
I’ll confess that this exchange of messages stunned me. By all accounts the individual involved is a well liked and respected entrepreneur. I was pumped to interview her and she had clearly been excited when I extended the offer.
What Happened? I don’t really know. Like my invited guest, I always place family first. Rescheduling was a no-brainer. Waiting until the night before the interview to reschedule? Not cool.
I’m left wondering if professional courtesy is a thing of the past? Or is a trait not yet developed in people struggling to find their way or who have never been called out?
Some may think me an old grouch but I’m not giving up on the idea of professional courtesy. I treat people with respect. I expect the same in return. How about you?