Meghan Morris of Business Insider spoke with Business Insider editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell about her latest feature with tech reporter Julie Bort in which the two talked to 20 current and former WeWork employees, executives, and business partners.
Here is an excerpt:
Shontell: Convincing strangers to talk to you about sensitive topics is really tough. How’d you do it?
Morris: With a lot of these people, I’d make clear that I was already speaking with WeWork employees so they didn’t feel like they were employee No. 1. And I’d say, “Can I do a gut check with you?” and, “Can I check with you to see if I’m on the right track?” That was a good way to get people to open up. They felt like they were confirming something, rather than telling me new things. After that, they became more comfortable about sharing their experiences.
Some people talked to me for an hour and said it felt like therapy to them — because of their NDAs they hadn’t been able to share these experiences with their families. People are really scared about talking, and having the opportunity to vent a little and explain the inner workings of a company their friends didn’t really understand felt cathartic to them.
But yes, when people sign NDAs it can be hard to get to them to talk. I’d say to them, “I totally understand you’re taking a big risk by talking to me, but here are some examples of where I’ve taken source security really seriously, and we haven’t had legal issues.” I also assured them we have a legal team in-house to deal with these types of issues if they were to come up.
Read more here.