An Interesting Interview Question

I’m two thirds of the way through Creativity, Inc. by Pixar president Ed Catmull, and I’m already dreading the fact that it will soon be over.

In the early chapters of the book, Catmull shares a lot about his relationship with Steve Jobs. At one point, when he gets up the nerve, Catmull asks Jobs a question that I think all interviewers should use:

“How do things get resolved when people disagree with you?”

I’ve been thinking about this question a lot. Not just about my own answer or the answer Steve Jobs gave (my way or the highway), but also about the ingenious way Ed Catmull used Jobs’s answer to analyze his business partner and find ways to break down barriers that were stifling growth at Pixar.

I’ve also been thinking about how I might use this question to help develop future characters in my own stories. And how to help my own kids become better negotiators. And how to help my online English students. This book does that to you.

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