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WOMEN+POWER 2023: Oprah Winfrey

Over almost four decades, Oprah Winfrey has interviewed many of the world’s most successful people including celebrities, business executives, and world leaders. All of them, she says, have one thing in common. After an interview, they all ask her the same three-word question: “Was that OK?”

That’s according to an interview Winfrey did with Moira Forbes at the Forbes 400 Summit.

“What I learned in all of those thousands of interviews is that there is a common denominator in all of our human experience,” Winfrey says. “Everybody wants to know, did you hear me, and did what I say matter?”

Think about that for a moment. Many of those people are at the top of their profession. In most cases, they are wealthy, famous, and successful, and yet, when they sit down with one of the world’s best-known interviewers, the thing they want to know is whether they did a good job.

Sitting in a chair across from Oprah Winfrey has to be one of the most intimidating experiences you can have, and that’s saying a lot considering that sometimes the person sitting in that chair is a president or a prince. When they’re done, the thing they’re looking for most is a little validation.

Everyone wants to know that they did OK. They want to know that they didn’t make a fool of themselves and that they lived up to expectations. That, it turns out, is a thing that almost everyone has in common--not just the world’s most powerful or successful people. It’s even true for the people on your team.


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