Comment: Larry King, the legendary presenter and television icon, has died at the age of 87. He conducted over 40,000 interviews and was included in The Guinness Book of World Records. In an era when emotional leaders were quick to ask questions, interrupt others, he mostly listened. He asked the question, “Why? What do you think,” and he listened.
This made him stand out from all. Among his interlocutors were all the U.S. Presidents, starting with Nixon, and also Margaret Thatcher, Vladimir Putin, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Mike Tyson, Paul McCartney, and you, Michael Laitman.
At the end of the conversation with you, he suddenly said to the production team: “I want to talk to him more, continue the time.”
My Response: Yes, he knew how to show the interlocutor that he was interviewing him. And he listened and heard. And although at first I did not feel any special interest in me on his part, in just a few minutes he began to change. He began to get used to the situation, he himself began to live in it, to empathize.
Listening is a gift from God. Who knows how to listen nowadays? No one. Even psychologists. The main thing for them is to foist on you what they think, and that’s it. They do not work for internal contact with the patient, with the sick person, with the interlocutor, or with the interviewee. This is not the case today.
Question: So, in principle, the art of listening is the main art?
Answer: Yes. This is what Larry King was famous for. We had nothing pre-assigned—an unexpected meeting. I practically answered the questions that interested him. And in no case as an interviewer, but as a person who wants to understand a little bit about life, what is going on in his family, what is happening in his life, with work, with a view of the world.
He understood me. That is, he did not have such an automatic switch on what only he needed and the rest does not matter, as television and radio hosts usually have. No, he absorbed it all for himself.
Question: What are the main qualities of a leader? To reveal a person, what do you need to be able to do?
Answer: To reveal a person, you must enter into him without need to spin it.
It is not necessary, because you unwind him, and he, therefore, like a child in your arms, is very light, external. This is not his inner essence. It is necessary to do so that a person opens up himself, and in such a way that he begins to open up in everything that he did not even think about, did not imagine, that he would ever be able to speak.
Question: And this happens when the one who asks presents the question and kind of cancels and listens?
Answer: Not only is it canceled, but when he wants to enter into the interlocutor, sympathize, be with him, not just empathize. And even more so not to show that you catch him on something or you spin it on something. With Larry King, I felt that this is a person who is really interested in understanding me.
At that time he had problems with his loved one, who was very sick. He disconnected from it and went into what I was telling him. This captured him more than his personal problems, and that is why he was so interested in me, and he was late for this interview. And he did not want to leave, he held my hand.
I just understood what he needed, that he was going to the hospital right after talking with me, and so on. It was impressive. That is, in the end I interviewed the person. Although this is not my specialty, not my task, I was impressed by him. It is precisely this turn, what he can do. He remained human.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 1/25/21