I recently posted a note about Derek Draper breaking a basic rule of turn-taking in conversation (‘one speaker at a time’), illustrated by a video of him and Paul Staines being interviewed by Andrew Neill.
Since then, I’ve come across a transcript with more examples of Mr Draper interrupting a co-interviewee, this time former Tory cabinet minister John Redwood – and another case where the interviewer intervenes to put a stop to it (full transcript HERE) – which suggests that the earlier observation may not have been an isolated instance:
Redwood: "Well he was the chief regulator of them, he was the Chancellor of the Exchequer running a tripartite regulatory system…
Draper: "Of course he wasn’t the regulator, the regulation was at arm’s length."
Redwood: "Derek you have to let me speak occasionally."
Redwood: "They allowed the banks to borrow and lend…
Draper: "You don’t think that perhaps…
Interviewer: "Hang on, hang on, let him finish."
Bearing in mind that Mr Draper is some kind of psycho-therapist, this and the earlier exchange with Andrew Neill are consistent with something I’ve noticed about the conversational style of quite a few people who’ve made a late career decision to go into counselling of one kind or another, namely that they tend to be (a) very talkative and (b) not very good at listening to what anyone else has to say.
Given that being a good listener is presumably essential if you’re going to be any good at helping people with their problems, I’ve often wondered if psycho-therapy and counselling are occupations that, for some mysterious reason, attract square pegs into round holes.
And my hypothesis is certainly not undermined by the low ratings and negative comments by readers in the Amazon customer reviews of Mr Draper’s recent book on the subject.