Sometimes guests approach me for the podcast, and sometimes I reach out. I’ve had excellent luck with reaching out to guests – they are almost always cordial, timely and respectful. I ask for less than an hour, allow them to talk about (for the most part) what they are interested in, it’s only audio, and it is done from the convenience of their office/laptop/mac.

Recently I reached out to someone who I thought would make for an interesting guest.

In this case I ran into what I call a status conversation. It almost never happens, and is painfully obvious what is going on when it does. Perhaps something like this has happened to you as well?

The names have been changed. Let’s call her Francine.

I originally reached out on October 28th of 2018…

MB Hi Francine – would be fun to connect and have you on the Alchemy For Life podcast when convenient. I interview really interesting people about time, energy and resources and life in general. Have a lovely friday and weekend! – Mark

October 28th Francine is now a connection.

I waited two days, though she connected, she didn’t respond to my request (I like to make my intention clear if the connection is for anything other than a simple connection). I really don’t like when people connect and then immediately bombard you with something to purchase. Keep in mind I am not selling anything to those I ask to be on the show – on the contrary I am becoming their cheerleader and allowing them to sell something…

MB OCT 30  7:23 AM Hi Francine – do you have some time in the near future for an interview?  it is audio only using web software.  The interviews are typically no more than an hour and I always promise guests to never take more than that. Guests have been from all over the world and they talk about time, energy and resources in their life, how they deal with that, how it has changed.  They are free to talk about whatever they like under that fairly broad umbrella.  It’s fun, sometimes deep, but always interesting. I look forward to chatting at your convenience of course.  Thanks!  – Mark

A month and a half later I followed up…  Yes, I waited that long because there was nothing particularly “timely” about what we were going to discuss…  I thought a short, funny, “Hello” was best.

MB DEC 13 2:07 PM Is this thing on?  *taps microphone*

This generated an immediate response.

4:05 PM Hi mark!  I’d be glad to talk to you, although most of the interviews I do are 30 minutes.  I’m afraid it’ll have to wait until January, so let’s touch base after the first.  Thanks, and have a great holiday and New Year!

 MB 4:22 PM Hi Francine!  Of course, 30 minutes is fine. No worries, I will reach out after the 1st of the year.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday and happy new year too.  🙂

8:56 PM Thank you

January 2nd was after the first of the year, and presumably time to easily get a response...

MB JAN 2nd 2019 7:41 AM Hi Francine!  Hope your new years was fun and is shaping up nicely.  Speaking of shaping up nicely, do you have any dates/times that work for you for the short, low key chat for my podcast?

No response. So I waited another month. I had been arranging a few podcasts to accommodate this particular broadcast, but could not longer do it as it wasn’t fair to my current list of great guests…

MB February 11th Hi.  Was holding open some time(s) for you to get you on the show earlier than later.  Can’t do that any longer and am filling spots up.  If you still want to be on some time, that’s great, just let me know. Otherwise, we’ll always have Paris. Just kidding, take care!

Translation. OK, your status has dipped below where it becomes important on the gage. So, I’m saying thank you, because my time is more valuable than that. If you want to demonstrate that you respect my time then I need a solid answer, otherwise take care.

Because I changed the Status Quo, literally, something different happened.  An almost immediate response:

Francine  12:43 PM Thanks!  For some reason I’m being inundated with interview requests, so if you have time in mid to late March, that should work.  : )

Translation. Allow me to raise my status manually, by telling you how other people value my time and status. Please don’t change the status in your perception, I’m still highly rated so just keep walking on that conveyer belt towards this carrot.

MB 12:51 PM Sure, can you pick a day/time and we can arrange to make it happen.

1:13pm If you don’t mind, please send me a reminder message at the end of February or beginning of March.  I get so many interview requests that it’s hard to keep track, so a reminder would be very helpful!  Thanks

Translation – I cannot commit to a time, today, tomorrow, next week, or next month, because if I do and something else comes along that I consider to have a higher status I want to do that instead.  And I can’t even be bothered to cancel.

Am I going to reply? No. Because I’d prefer not to live in GroundHog Day and have someone play status games with me. I valued her time, but I also value my time, and I prefer to spend it with people (and guests) that also value my time as well.

I have ample podcasts and articles (as well as an entire book ) about status, quality time and so forth. So, this made for a great, real-life demonstration of status and how it works.

What did we learn today?

  • Everyone finds the time to do what they want
  • People will do what they can to maintain and even raise their status
  • You can lower someone else’s status, or at least clarify what their status is with you
  • A person can lose status by doing things like delaying, and generally not being particularly respectful to someone’s time
  • If you lower someone’s status they will immediately try to raise it – by anecdote, story or demonstration.
  • I only have so much patience

About Mark Bradford

Check out Mark's fourth book: Alchemy for Life - Formulas for Success. Mark Bradford developed a system to achieve goals, manage your energy and understand and strengthen your path - it's Alchemy for Life. He writes, coaches and speaks on the subject. For more information, tips and tricks, like Mark Bradford on Facebook, follow Mark Bradford on Twitter. Schedule a 15 minute chat. Articles are posted regularly on AlchemyFor.Life, and LinkedIn.