How to Get Strangers to Talk to You: Jan Chipchase

How to Get Strangers to Talk to You: Jan Chipchase
Knowing the "in" person can open up a whole network (Photograph by Tomas Beric/Vetta/Getty Images)
Photograph by Tomas Beric/Vetta/Getty Images

As a field researcher, I often approach people I don’t know. People look busy, but they want to tell their stories. I look for a “conducive space,” where people pause to talk. Barbershops are a wonderful example. Sometimes I’ll get two shaves a day. A barber is a professional talker, the hub of a community; you need just one “in,” one person to trust you enough to open up a network. And in any culture, if someone offers you tea, say yes. — As told to Brendan Greeley 

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