Assist the speaker in describing specific moments related to their learning – prompting them to talk about what they were doing in as much detail as possible.
Make sure to ask the speaker to further describe or “unpack” common phrases or terms they use.
Listen for generic adjectives or adverbs such as “interesting” “frustrating” “amazing” “fun” and then prompt the speaker to say more.
Listen for recurring themes from the speaker’s story (ies) — it is helpful to quickly write down a word or two so you can recall these themes or insights later.
Reflect back to the speaker what you hear them saying after they have told you a chunk of their story. For example, “what I heard you saying so far is that you took on a leadership role within an organization that was in dire need of good leadership …sounds like there were a lot of challenges you faced fund-raising, creating ways for people to communicate…”
After you have reflected back to the speaker what they have said, it is important to share your own insights into their story and see if they resonate with the speaker’s perspective. Usually these kinds of comments will prompt the speaker to go further and sometimes they will also create an “a-ha” moment of insight.
Encourage the speaker to “anchor” their newly conscious understanding of their tacit knowledge in their portfolioas soon as possible. Since tacit knowledge is so entrenched in our experiences, it will recede quickly back into our unconscious decision-making and behavior. Writing about it in the portfolio will not only allow the speaker to enhance their pre-existing knowledge, but it will help them to retain a conscious awareness of the insights revealed during the Generative Knowledge Interviewing process.