Tell me more—words that open doors

Photo of yachts, boat sheds, homes on hills in the sunshine

Wellington Harbour on a sunny winter day. Looks calm. Tell me more!

The other day my sister said, “Tell me more about…” I stopped short, thinking what a wonderfully open-minded, communication-improving phrase that was. We were talking on the phone and I’d dropped in a comment about the coronavirus-environment connection, but the topic is irrelevant.

In conversation I often skate over comments that I don’t really understand: I just assume I know what the other person means and race ahead with my response. I decided I must use that phrase “Tell me more” myself more often, and I got a chance the next day. It worked so well: I learned something important and useful.

Interview about poems vs. national political news on Radio NZ

In 2 hours I’ll be interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon, Radio NZ. I hope it goes well. It’s no use my making notes because I never look at them. Kathryn is a hugely experienced interviewer. She knows how to ask, “Tell me more about…” in 100 ways.

My words will be light relief, because today the airways are reverberating with political developments in New Zealand. This morning all our journalists are hopping from toe to toe to accommodate the big news of the day—a new leader of the opposition, the third in 55 days.

Our radio discussion about my book of poems on How To Be Old is small fry, and I’ll enjoy it all the more for that. I know my place, no kidding! I want to be relaxed and encouraging, and to answer that “Tell me more” invitation.

Tell me more about the response of WHO and world leaders to the pandemic

My schedule today is a far cry from that of another octogenarian, former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She will get up and tackle her role as co-chair (with former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark) of an independent panel to review the way the World Health Organisation (WHO) handled the Covid-19 pandemic and the response by governments worldwide. I wish them well in this mammoth task.

Looping back to my first point, I think we’re all saying to Helen and Ellen, “Tell me more…”

Reporting back: a fun interview

How we flourish in the hands of an expert interviewer! Here’s the interview with Kathryn Ryan:

Octogenarian Rachel McAlpine’s poetry about ageing

Hope you like it!

8 thoughts on “Tell me more—words that open doors

  1. All the best for the interview. You’ll be stellar!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      So much fun.

      1. I listened by earphones while grandkids watched Science Show at the museum … It sounded fun! Delightful interview.

  2. So glad I read your post straightaway today. Switching on the radio now. I’m excited. (And, yes, “Tell me more” is one of the best open questions I know)

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Yay, I had fun.

  3. alison41 says:

    I enjoyed listening to your interview. I don’t know how you have done it, but you have a young-sounding voice ! So many older people sound old – not by the words, but by the tone, cadence and pitch, I suppose. Congratulations on your book – wishing you every success with it.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Interesting. Enthusiasm, maybe?

  4. alison41 says:

    P.S. And thanks for the “tell me more” tip. I shall be using this!

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