tv Charlie Rose PBS June 8, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with our continuing coverage of former f.b.i. director james comey up coming testimony to the senate intelligence committee that takes place tomorrow in washington. we talked to john dickerson of cbs news the moderator of face the nation. >> we will expect a fact-based just the facts. there will be a lot of attempts to get former director comey to talk about russia and investigation into the collusion of russia metaling in the campaign, i think they'll stay away from that. there will be a mindy fection of every claim he makes about the number of meetings and conversations. nine in total over the course of four months which is itself extraordinary. and then nailing down prececisig the fact -- >> rose: we continue with the writer and legendary editor sir
harold evans, his new back is called do i make myself clear while writing well matters. >> the active voice is the way to write. the passive voice by and large creates more words and has no energy. let me give you an example. neil armstrong landed on the man today, active voice. the passive voice says the moon was landed on by neil armstrong today. the official language if i analyze the report how he got on the plane, it's full of things like it can safely be said and steps were taken. who took the steps, what did they do. it's all passive. >> rose: we conclude with alan alda called if i understood you, would i have this look on my face? my as ventions in the art of science and relating and communicating. >> it's like when two actors are on the stage and they are really
listening to each other, when i'm doing that, i don't say my next line because it's in the script, i say it because you do something or say something that makes me say it and then makes me say it a certain way. and something comes out of that. that picture of two people who are genuinely engaged. it's hard to take your eyes off when you're watching. >> rose: john dickerson, harold evans and alan alda when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications
from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin this evening with a look ahead to james comey's hearings tomorrow who will testify in front of the senate intelligence committee. in his opening remarks released today comey outlined his interactions with president trump following his election. the statement confirms reporting that the president requested had comey drop the investigation into former national security advisor michael flynn. earlier today president trump announced his selection of former federal prosecutor christopher wray as the next fbi director. john derrickson joins me, welcome back. >> thank you charlie, good to be back. >> rose: how is the nomination of christopher wray being received in washington on both sides of the aisle. >> i think pretty well. sort of swamped by the larger comey news and certainly what you hear from democrats is that
the confirmation hearing will be a convenient jew to walk through and talk through all of the issues raised by the comey interaction, the firing and the letter he sent. but the thing of it is there's so much to talk about with the f.b.i. director as well. those issues with law enforcement aren't being discussed in the phone because is in the context of the former f.b.i. director. >> rose: what should we expect from the former f.b.i. director tomorrow because he already released an opening statement in some direction he will go. >> we will get a fact-based and just the facts. there will be a lot of attempt to get former director comey to talk about russia and the investigation into collusion between the russians meddling in the campaign i think will stay away from all of that. but i think there will be a
minute defection he makes of the conversations nine in total over the course of four months which is itself extraordinary and nailing down precisely the fact he has to answer the fact in testimony about a month ago he said nobody was interfering with his investigation, how does that square with the feeling he felt pressure from the president. there will be a lot of attempts to get him to say the word obstruction. i think he will probably stay away from that and stay away as careful as possible in terms of saying things as he understands them based on his experience which is there is plenty to talk about there. >> rose: i assure you the republicans will ask him why it took him so long and didn't go to the justice department immediately after he had these sessions with the president and felt some interference, so much so that he went to the attorney general and said, i don't want to be alone with the president again. >> that's right. and there were instances though where he not only took notes the minute he left the president,
but then advised his superiors. and so he has some corroboration to his testimony. you remember president trump hs refuted the press reports and it will be interesting what the president now says once this testimony takes place. but i think also the question here is was the president trying to interfere in the investigation and there are the details that former director comey lays out in the seven pains. but then it's important to remember of course that he was fired. in the very first meeting they met, president trump brought up this question of loyalty. and so from the get-go the president was talking about loyalty and then outcome that he would like. and those two things are threaded throughout these interactions, these nine interactions, and then in the end comey was fired. so that is a part of this story about in terms of the president's effort to influence the investigation. it's not just what's contained in the seven pages but the very fact comey lost his job as the
president admitted in part because of the russia investigation. >> rose: how do we expect the president to fire back tomorrow after comey testifies? >> well, there is some talk about how the president might live tweet or chime in with tweets during the hearings. so that will be interesting because of course one of the underlying questions here whether the president anxious for a result which in this case several results he want, one was only kind of public statement from comey that the president was in the clear. second was removing what the president called the cloud according to comey's opening statement the cloud of this investigation getting in the way of his doing this job as president. finally, according to former director comey ending the investigation into michael flynn and his contacts with the russians. those are the things the president wanted and he want to get it, he want that result and was impulsive in trying to get it done. i mean you're not supposed to talk to your f.b.i. director in
this fashion. comey explained that to him nevertheless the president want when he want. so that's the question of the president operating within the constraints of his office. so if he's live tweeting this hearing, welsh well -- well, tl be him being incapable of being restrained in the moment. it does echo the underlying themes brought up by the testimony itself. >> rose: what was heard so far constitutes obstruction of justice he sort of deflected by saying he would leave it to the lawyers to define obstruction of justice. the question does remain, what would require, what would be necessary for what we already know to be added to, to go into the realm of obstruction of justice? >> well, senator warner is ducking your question there because in the end it comes back to senator warner, comes back to the politician. we know you can't prosecute the president or legally it suggests
a president cannot be prosecuted about congress can take action. so then it becomes congress' job to make a determination, what do they make of these interactions. and of course it's quite important to say this is just one side of the story. former director comey is, you know, telling his narrative and it's going to have a lot of kind of immediacy when he testifies. but the president has his chance to talk too but it will ultimately be up to the politicians whether they think there was obstruction or abuse of power or whatever that they think the president may have done wrong. it will ultimately all come back and those aren't legal rules so much, it's a lot fuzzier when it gets into politics. >> rose: do we assume whatever happens, whatever efforts there was to restrain an investigation all goes back to collusion with russian agents. >> it goes back to collusion
with michael flynn. so the president to get this out of the way an irritant, he sees it as tan irritant, thinks it's a phony investigation, his effort to get that behind him is really the president is at the center of this drama now the way he wasn't with the collusion question. nobody put the president close to these allegations about collusion between the russians and the campaign. so he was quite a peripheral player in that investigation. here, however, it's really the president right at the senator of the drama. >> rose: is this another situation as we've seen so often in washington whether it's watergate or something else in which the cover up or the attempt to cover up is much worse than what was ownerly accused. >> certainly in terms of the president and the questions he's facing now and the difficult spot he's in is absolutely of his own making. and much more so than anything that has to do with these collusion questions. this is all really of the president's doing in his
interactions with director comey and also prepares his interactions with other officials, certainly dan coats and rogers today in their testimony. they had this set of issues, again behavior the president should not have been engaged in. >> rose: they restrained saying more about it in their testimony today. >> they were restrained although what put that restraint on them was somewhat opaque. there were several different reasons they claimed. rogers said it was perhaps of classification and he said it might be because the whitehouse would assert executive privilege although the whitehouse has not yet so far done that. and then dan coats said he didn't really have a reason for why he wasn't getting an answer to the question whether president trouble asked him to weigh in on the f.b.i. investigation. >> rose: what is the
whitehouse planning in, many people think this will stretch out over months and we hear much talk of a war room and hiring of attorneys. does the whitehouse expect this to be a longstanding, i mean a longrunning drama and they have to be prepared to fight fight fight for the rest of the trump term? >> well, maybe not for the whole term although who knows. but yes, they are prepared for a rather protracted struggle because you not only have the house and senate investigations going on, which are live and ongoing which have these kind of public moments, but then of course you have the special council looking into this. there is the potential on any given day for the newspapers to break some version of this story they have to react to. unlike any other presidency we've seen before, a president who has used social media twitter in particular to great effect in his campaigns and even in part in governing, can at any moment say something and create a whole new news cycle sometimes, and we've seen this,
in a way that underminds what the whitehouse officials have been saying publicly. so they have to put that into their calculus in terms of how to develop a messaging strategy. >> in the end is what robert mueller does more important than what either the committees in congress do? >> probably, in part because the committees, even though the senate select committee on intelligence has tried very hard to maintain a bipartisan approach, partisanship leaks in, of course. and robert mueller is seeing in a way it's almost hard to think of anybody in washington that has that kind of reputation and support from both sides of the aisle much his rigor and the bipartisan approval give more weight to his ultimate findings. >> rose: where is he as far as we know in his process? >> it's hard, really hard to say. there are stories that suggest he's hiring more prosecutors.
that he's looking into michael flynn not only with respect to russia but with respect to thinks contracts with turkey and his associations with the turkish government, whether false statements were given in previous investigations. and al, so the acting director of the f.b.i. suggested today obstruction and cover up might also be a part of his investigation. so it seems rather sprawling but robert mueller is known for running a pretty type ship. all these stories coming out what he might be doing have to take with a grain of salt because we don't really know. >> rose: if you were sitting there as a senator tomorrow, what would you ask? >> i'm interested in, one of the questions here is the president and what he knew about the lines he may have been crossing. for somebody whose never been in
washington before it's certainly not sure whether the president knew about conversations he was having. first i want to know the nature of the conversations that comey had in which instructed the president about the walls that were supposed to exist between the two of them. did the nature of the conversations they had subsequent to comey instructing the president on the fact they shouldn't have been talking at all, the nature of those changes of conversations changed which would give us some indication that the president knew what he was doing was not correct or not right or whether he just kind of persisted in a state of ignorance because lawmakers will have to determine whether the president knew he was doing something he shouldn't have been and went ahead anyway. >> rose: any indication from. fact that the president asked the attorney general and others toly toly -- leave the room so he could talk privately. >> that seems to be a suggestion the president knew what he was doing and not a good idea to have everybody around to listen to. on the other hand, might have
been something that he thought the others didn't have any business knowing about not from a legal standpoint but just from a kind of he want to talk man to man. i think i would also want to know what director comey thinks his actual firing, in what context he puts that action. president can fire his f.b.i. director and that's his right. and so does james comey think that that was just what he was doing. he didn't like the way comey ws running his job and he fired him or did he think the firing was linked to the tonic of conversation in their very first meeting which wasalty and how he as f.b.i. director would show that loyalty and what would happen if he didn't. remember in the first conversation the president raised the question whether comey wanted to stay in the job and director comey felt the president was trying to create a certain kind of relationship
that made comey uncomfortable. >> rose: john dickerson thank you so much. see you them morning. >> thanks. >> rose: back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: stir harold efnedz is here, editor at large for reuters and former at the times of london. his new book is called do i make myself clear? why writing well matters. this took place before the tragic event in manchester and on the london bridge. i'm pleased to have sir harold evans back at this table. welcome sir. >> glad to be here. >> rose: what made you write this. >> it makes me crazy when i read a lot of the business language today. george orwell wrote his book 70 years ago, 2016. the same year donald trump became president.
so you look at the papers and magazine, radio or tv and what all predicted going to happen has actually happened. the language has gotten more and more incomprehensible. let me give you an example. a friend of mine has money, he's a billionaire and too polite to insist in my presence. they would like him to preside over a liquidation event. what does that mean. we want to sell our company. liquidation is the sale of the company. this is throughout the business. the best example of course was then't the -- unfortunate story of the new republic, better red than dead. makes no difference but it's on a screen or whether it's in print. but this is what was said for instance when they were trying to sell this. we're going to create magical
experiences through cross functional collaboration and we ask you to align yourself metabolickism perspective to virtually integrated digital media company. what? i can't align my metabolic, you see how difficult it is. the reason i wrote this book is several reasons. one is the language that people use. the euphemisms. when you talk to somebody today you demean them or puncture them. it's gotten completely out of hand because what's happened with the arrival of digital, at the velocity of the language, you will know when you wake up in the morning and have to do your cvs show your millions are coming at you continuing bits of news. to find the real message takes much longer than it should
because there's so much verbiage. >> rose: let's give a lesson to america. let me walk you through it. ten short cuts to make your steps clear. the subtitle is why writing well matters. it matters because to communicate more likely be able to achieve your objectives. more able to express your emotions so you'll be better understood. all of those things. but you have short cuts to make. number one, get moving. we've seen how writers trying to squeeze in more words than the structure can accommodate, confusion advertise itself. so get moving. >> that's using the action voice. the action voice is the way to write. the passive voice by and large creates more words and has no energy. let me give you an example. neal armstrong landed on the moon today. active voice. the passive voice says the moon
was landed on by neal armstrong today. the official language analyzed in my book i've analyzed the obama report and how he got on the plane with a bomb in his pants. it's full of things like it can safely be said and steps were take even. who took the steps, what do they do. it's all passive. what i call cover your ass policy is to evade to share responsibility. it was decided there would be no more coffee breaks. who decided that? nobody because it's safer to be passive. so this kind of thing. it was a terrible example of it. the state of colorado, they aligned state with a great govern had something on the reverend. shall there be an amendment, passive voice to the colorado
constitution concerning the removal of the exception to the prohibition of slavery and involuntary servitude when used for personment of persons convicted of a crime. you may be very cleaver, you may be a genius. you can't under that. neither can i. when i translated it, it's really asking for an exception to the execution to ban slavery of course and involuntary servitude. do you know what happened, majority of voters voted for return of slavery and voluntary services. same for the people who signed all the mortgages. >> rose: in terms of what caused the crises. >> yes. the crises was they waited -- >> rose: they didn't know what -- >> shame with insurance policies is confused by language that people can't really understand. >> rose: the more difficult it is, the longer it is nobody reads it. this is number two.
be specific. all great writing focuses on the significant details of human life and in simple concrete words. >> cows, women, calves, milk. not abstraction. you get far too many abstractions. this is very very hard to focus on abstractions. it's much easier if the writer's writing about a car or a piece of cheese you can see it. an abstraction is very very difficult. these a japanese linguist who created what you call the ladder of abstraction. this reminds me of a letter like this. on the first rung you got something you can stand o it's specific, concrete, you can seate. when you go up the ladder you can be more precise and you even up with an abstraction of democracy.
moving from the concrete to the abstract is difficult unless you keep reminding people, abstraction democracy means this, means that, means this. >> rose: number three ration adjectives raise adverbs. >> it's very difficult to raise adverbs. you can spot adverbs if tu search, you'll see a pro-life risk of a verdicts. adjectives we fall in love with them t and they actually are a burden on the verbs and nouns as you're pulling the sentence along. >> rose: next is check the facts cut the figures. >> you see this in the best of journals. you see comparative or liblg the number of policemen killed following service was relatively small. we can't focus on those. in fact three different publications called the same
figures relatively high, relatively low, relatively medium. figures get you out of the mess. >> rose: organized by clarity. >> that's the question for instance sentences should be relatively short because they are much easier to understand. >> rose: much easier to speak as well. >> much easier to speak. you heard with metabolickism. it's all the same. it was discovered as it were in nebraska, this is strange in the late 1800's by a man called sherman who actually went through all the great writers and discovered the sentences were getting shorter and shorter. now some brilliant writer like roger angels a new yorker the sentence will be 14 words or shorter. and those sentences are much easier to wrestle with and very
hard not to be understood with short simple sentences. this last is full of water. okay. if i said something like when i took up the glass with charlie rose tonight i noticed in some way there was a change in the color of the water. so it goes on and on. it's so easy to add words and number the senses. >> rose: be positive. sentences should assert, express even a negative in positive for. >> well there's a wonderful environmental protection agency that says we're looking for plants which there is no impact and if there's no impact on the environment. so the negatives is very hard to get clarity when you have a lot of negatives. much easy to assert and be positive. >> rose: don't be a bore. >> well don't be a bore. i've written a lot on this about the rhythm of sentences. the difference between the loose sentence, the period sentence
which ends with a surprise at the end of the sentence and the balance sentence which is an example is here. any man is free to say what he wants just as you are free to knock him down for saying it. that's a balanced sentence. >> rose: put people first. >> well this is my cry it all the time. because when you're writing, you have to imagine the person. i've written here about somebody born with cerebral palsy. so he's no longer a patient, he's a person. when do you refer to these people in the hospital case number five. you drain them of humanity. this story i told in the book is a shocking story of the insurance company denying this case treatment to help him speak and they denied him, if they thought of him as a human being to try to speak when he has
cerebral palsy, they definitely just regarded him as a case, stopped him learning the, stopped him having the speech therapy. and so he became no longer a person but a case. now we're having a row about health policy, right. look at the language is he carefully because it contains deceptions, deceptions, deceptions. >> rose: two more. the pesky propositions. >> propositions is what i've given the the book is a description which it seems as though pope is walking into a hamburger joint having been insulted by the pope. and the language suggests it's the pope who is getting a hamburger when he says don't worry about it. in fact if there trump, two people are confused with the pronouns and switch identity. >> rose: then the last one is
down with monologophobia. >> monologophobe would rather be seen naked outside any place on fifth avenue using the same word twice. so one sentence, this is charlie rose walked into the nearby restaurant. the television interviewer was struck down by a car unfortunately but he was rescued by so and so. what happened to mr. rose. they lose the identity of the person frightened of using the same name twice, you see it all the time. i he seen the premier referred to as the lake and island and also things. you can't follow this unless, most pronouns are very difficult. he was in here. who was in here. he was in here. that's another deception built into language. the most important of course is the confusions introduced in business and the euphemisms, by
the way. so in fact people are no longer, they are demise. >> rose: let me talk about your career. you were born in manchester. >> yes. >> rose: mother was -- >> my mother left school at the age of 11, 12, and started a tiny shop of grocery. >> rose: house or outside the house. >> in the house in the parlor as world war started. she started selling little things. first of all ice cream, and then tins of beans and then something else and something else. she had no education. she went to school at 12 and made herself a business out of it. >> rose: your dad. >> my dad left school at 12. he was a mathematical genius. he can tell you what day you would be 45 if you tell him what your birth date was. he would say it's a wednesday. he calculated all the raises on the rail ways because my father
was a railway driver. mates would come to him have you been paid enough. my dad would give them the answer, he left school at 12. he should have had an education in mathematics. he might have been m r. zuckerberg if he had. >> rose: where did the love of journalism come from. >> basically it began during the war when i was a newspaper reporter and i interviewed somebody who had been illustrated in the army and was dying by tuberculosis. i went to see him. i expressed some anger at the way he had he left. he was then 27. and the anger came through in my report said to me this is an opinion here. it expresses your feelings. i said i am. okay put a different heading on it so you can go ahead and say
i. then i became obsessed by the fact that there were so many things, bad things were hidden like the conditions in the cotton mills, the conditions on the rail ways, the conditions on the coal mine that i saw and heard of. and i go now i didn't get sort of confused by. let's find the reason. >> rose: you made your rendation heading up investigative teams. >> yes. my best success was -- treated by the chemical company -- >> rose: where was this. >> a hundred thousand babies died. >> rose: what paper did you write this for. >> the sunday times. >> rose: this is when you were an editor for the sunday times or are you reporter. >> we moved up a few years. >> rose: the point is that you did from the early stage like investigative reporting. >> yes, i did. i want to know what the truth
was and i was much more interested in truth than i was in campaigning. before i campaigned, i had to satisfy myself that it was a crucible campaign so when people found fault with it -- we discovered -- >> rose: you had like 18 reporters on that story. >> at one stage i did. i don't mind sending men over the top in the search for a good story. the right education inspired by the soviet union -- and the thing that really got me, his crime was covered up by the establishment. they didn't want -- >> rose: he was one of them. >> he was one of them. >> rose: so i do have to
expedite this. so this was at the london times. then they made you editor of the sunday times. >> yes. i was editor of the sunday times for 14 years. and then i became manager -- >> rose: then it was the sunday times. >> it was the sunday times. >> rose: was that the best time of your life? >> best time of my life was finding tina brown. yes. journalistically. i had a great time because of the travel i started. generally the most excitg time in my life was getting justice that was still without legs and arms the family trying to bring them up. can you imagine this bringing up a child without any legs or arms. >> rose: how was the newspaper tradition and does it still exist, different in london than say the united states.
>> there's a major difference between the two. british journalism and many critics. in british journalism the news is totally separate. american journalism the news is there and an opinion. in the "new york times" a great newspaper you have an opinion edited by somebody. >> rose: and they report to the publisher. >> and report to the publisher. in england, the editor is responsible both for the opinion and the editorial columns and for the news coverage. so when i want to run a campaign i was writing editorials and i was also editing the news copy that was being delivered by the news department. we fused the two. there's a big argument whether you can have church and state and still stay p pure. i think you can because if i wrote something which the news department challenged, they were in my office like a shot. you can't say this you can't say
that you can't say this. so the tradition is different. the british edition is divided of course between the tabloids which is restless, pursuing people making their life misery, i hate it. and the serious papers, the times and the guardian and so are dedicated to a much more humane tradition. >> rose: did you fall in love with the aforementioned ms. brown when you first ladies on her own when you realized how good she was as a journalist or some other thing. >> that's a good question, actually. i think it was majorly. when i fell in love with her initially was her writing, a famous literary agent said you have to read this person, she's a young writer you have to read it. i put it aside i was very busy
and i finally read it. i invited her to come into the sunday times and she impressed the features department so she started on the sunday times. she got one or two other jobs after that. >> rose: she later went to the tattler. >> she saved the tattler from dying. and he came to london and asked eighty. >> rose: when the time you met her and married her, how long was that. >> oh, because i was married and my wife was no longer with us but i would say three, four years. she want to treat me like i treated -- she want to know where it began and where it might end. >> rose: it somehow worked. >> it's worked fantastically well. >> rose: great to have you here. >> thank you very much, charlie. long may you flourish as the grart great interpreter of
american life. >> rose: thank you. back in a moment stay with us. >> rose: alan alda is here the award winning actor wrote a book and it's called if i understood you would i have this look in my face? the book shows us how improvisational exercises can strengthen communication skills. it is based in part with the work he's done with alan alda communication for science at the stonybrook university. they use improv to train doctors and scientists how to communicate more effectively. i'm pleased to have my good friend alan alda back at this table. welcome. >> thank you, charlie, thank you. >> rose: my great admiration for arlene, you're a fantastic writer. >> thank you. you can say it some more. >> rose: when you talk about a great marriage let's talk about alan alda. >> we have a good time together,
we're pals. what she says about a happy marriage is she has a short memory. >> rose: why write this book. >> i had been working with scientists and doctors as you mention for years. we've been doing it eight years now, teaching at universities around the country and around the world and we trained 8,000 scientists and doctors. i began to hear from them that this works in more settings than that. one physicist said to me you got to teach other people this. my wife is an artist and i can't understand a word she says. another scientist says and this one really got to me when he said this training saved my marriage. i was thinking after that, that it really applies to all of us. people in business, husbands and wives, parents and children. >> al franken was just here.
politic the ability to communicate your own partial see and authenticity. the narrative of your life. >> how else can you reach another person. it's not with logic. it's with trust, commonality, essentially familiarity. and seeing the other person's point of view. i'm just reading by accident a couple people different people writing on diplomacy. didn't think diplomacy could happen without being able to take the other person's perspective. kind of makes sense. >> rose: it does. >> that's what george mitchell did in ireland. >> rose: george bush 41. jon meacham who is his biographer had real access to the letters said what he had was empathy and he could understand, he understood that when the united states with russia and the soviet union was collapsing and the berlin wall was coming down, he could have gone down and gloated about it.
he could have beat his chest and say we won but he didn't. he knew, he didn't want to make it difficult for gorbachev. >> i think that's true with negotiation. if you win a negotiation, if you really win it at the other person's expense, it doesn't go well. what happens next time you want to work something out. they want to get even. >> rose: exactly. >> whereas if everybody's looking at the other person's point of view. which is really empathy but as you may remember in the book, i make a big point of the idea that i think there's something called dark empathy where you know what's going on in the other person's head, what feelings they're going through but youe want to communicate to people.
people in conversation just so they know, do you understand me? is there something that i'm missing. just make sure that there is a you have crossed the possible barrier of not communicating. >> mind barrier. >> rose: yes, the mind barrier, exactly. >> what i found, this is really interesting, that you can get better at empathy. there were people i've interviewed who teach empathy and one might think well you're borne -- born with a certain amount of it and that's going to be it. ate turns out it isn't true, there are things you can do. i thought i had that capacity as an actor and improviser. i've had that experience. so i thought i was pretty good at it. actually in the two years it took me to write this book i got
way better because i was really concentrating. >> rose: what are you talking about. >> i try not to tell them too much. >> rose: that's the first step. what do you share with them. >> well even then i try to find experiences that are transformative. because to give the person a list of tips, goes in one ear and out the other. we've all her tips. the funny thing the tips that are given about communication are very good tips. but you can't just hear them and do them, you have to go through and experience them to make them stick. you know my example of a tip versus an experience is, and this really happened to me in sag harbor near where we live, there's a speed sign. it says 25 miles an hour. and i noticed it all the time and i would always go 40. once i got a ticket, the cop stopped me gave me a ticket, i never went 40 again past that sign. the sign was the tip.
the ticket was the experience. >> rose: remembering the experience not the sign. >> i look for experiences that will help me. >> rose: people who want to communicate, we've all learned tell them stories. >> yes. >> rose: don't give them lists, tel show that when you tell somebody a story, your mind, your brain is syncing up with the other person's brain. if i see a movie while i'm being studied in a tube, the parts of my brain that are activated are the say parts that are activate when i tell you about the movie and if you're being studied at the same time, those parts of your brain are being activated as if you were walling a movie. we sync up on story.
it's a very important experience. >> rose: where did this interest in science expressed in all the television series you do come from? >> i have no idea. probably from the same place that scientist interests come from. >> rose: curiosity. >> curiosity. always wondered where things came from. my mother was ill mentally is she was schizophrenic and paranoid. i was always trying to figure out if she was reality what she was telling me or just her reality. that i think helped a lot. i didn't enjoy the experience but it helped. >> rose: i do this television series with eric kandel and we had a woman on. one year we tried to bring people on who were living with a schizophrenia, dementia, alzheimer's, whole range of things. that, the authenticity of their testimony was the most powerful thing that we did in this
series. >> it's an awful thing to live with mental illness. i can't imagine the worse illness because the world changes. reality is different. reality's a nightmare. my poor mother saw the devil in the kitchen, she saw the devil in the bedroom so she never went into those two rooms. yet she ate ate pizza. >> rose: is that what -- >> actually, at stonybrook university, the center of communicating science, we work with scientists and medical people. i started a company that teaches it in corporations. we have a program now for women
in business. we offer that for money but the money we make goes to the senator for communicating science. so we're doing good kind of in two ways. >> rose: what do you teach women in business. >> the biggest need we hear from them is confidence. it's shocking to know, it's shocking to me that after the culture changed a little bit in the last 30 or 40 years, there is still a problem with women at a conference table being interrupted, being ignored, having their ideas appropriated by somebody else and somebody says that's a good idea bill and mary said it first. the harassment i hear is still a big problem. >> rose: dealing with that and have the confidence to respond to it. >> when it hits you, how do you deal with it because the person who is exercising it -- >> rose: yeah. >> so what i think is really
important is to have experiences that give you the practice to cope with these things. it's very, it's very nice to see people get the stuff in them to change. >> rose: how do you encourage them to listen? >> do you know what, this is a weird thing. we all say this new news way those of us at the center act. the older training, act. the person trying to communicate something has to listen better than the person listening because you not only are saying what you want to be transmitted to the other person, you have to be watching them like a lock. where are they in this, are they getting it, am i getting them upset trying to tell them this or are they with me. my job is to get you to follow me. if you don't get it it's my fault. >> rose: i say that all the time. i actually believe that.
if you didn't understand, it's my fault. if in fact the question is confusing, it's my fault. >> my wife reminds me of this. go to page 22 and you'll see what you said it's your fault. something else i discovered that's very radical and probably too radical for most of us to do all the time but i have the impression that real listening is being willing to be changed by the person you're listening to. you've listened to a lot of people over the years. has that ever occurred to you that if i, no matter how much i might disagree with them, there may be something somewhere in there that's my salvation. and if i can connect with that, i'll be a better person. no matter how much, how audit might seem, i find when i do that, i suddenly start to see them. just this morning i was having a
conversation with somebody, and i had something on my mind that i want to get across to her. and i noticed that i was just waiting for her to finish talking so i could say my thing which is like the worst thing you can do trying to listen to somebody. you listen and you say something that stems from what they say. then it goes back and forth it's like ping pong not shooting an arrow like a target. i said i'm just waiting for her to finish. am i really looking at her? and i realized for the last few minutes before that, i had just had a blob where her face should be. you know like those videos on television where they blank out the victim. i wasn't seeing her and when i started to look at her and noticed the color of her eyes, the way her eyebrows were shaped, the color of the jacket she was wearing, i was listening again. >> rose: i say to people all
the time too. they'll say what are the essentials of a good interview. well first of all, preparation. you have to listen. third, and we get a short shrift to engage. engagement is it. so that the person really has connected to you and you connected to them so you can hear their own receptivity. something happens when you're engaged, it's just like when two actors are on this stage and they are both really listening to each other, when i'm doing that, i don't say my next line because it's in the script. i say it because you do something or say something that makes me say it and then makes me say it a certain way. something comes out of that, that picture of two people engaged, it's hard to take your
eyes off when you're watching. if people are watching an interview and you see two people really talking to each other, that's really interesting. something else emerges. there's a third element that comes out of that. >> rose: i've had a bunch of opportunities to act, mainly people wanting to talk or see me in a situation having to do with an interview. not all of them. i remember i did this for the board of director, i just learned my own lines. i didn't learn the other person's lines. so therefore you couldn't react. >> right. >> rose: that's my part. rather than getting where that person was, almost so that it gave the inflection of that person could change. >> i always said, many actors say my performance is found in
the other person's eyes. you know. and then so much acting goes away. it's relating. relating is everything. i think relating is, you know we're social animals. and it's so amazing to me that nevertheless, we avoid one another. we don't make this contact. and yet when we do, it feels so good. but you can lose it, it goes away. it's like going to the gym. >> rose: one of the concerns people have about social media. >> i think in spite of that, which we all do,ing get knocked down on broadway by somebody walking toward you with their iphone. >> rose: exactly. >> inspite of that, i think we still express our hunger for connection and for an emotional synchrony because that's why we use emogi. >> rose: the book is called if i understood you, would i have this look on my face.