Legendary American show host, Oprah Winfrey said there’s one question she asks all her guests before an interview and explained how it has helped create her success and can do the same for everybody else.
INSIDER attended a panel for OWN’s new reality series, “Released,” Friday at the Tribeca TV Festival in New York City, where Winfrey said, “Before every interview since 1989, I would ask the person I was interviewing, ‘Please tell me what your intention is.'”
That’s incredible that she’s asked that question of every interviewee on her talk shows for, as Winfrey put it, “4,589 shows and over 37,000 people [she interviewed] one-on-one in person.”
The billionaire media mogul explained that she believes doing so has been one of the secrets to her own success and can do the same for anyone who asks themselves the same question for whatever they’re doing in life.
“Years ago, I learned that your intention determines the outcome of everything you do,” Winfrey said. “So one of the reasons why the ‘Oprah Show’ was No. 1 all those years was that we had an intention to be so. And before every single show from 1989 to the very last two shows, I would meet the producers beforehand and ask them, ‘Don’t just give me a show idea. Have an intention behind the show.’ And then I have to then find my intention within the show, at least some stream of truth so that I won’t be sitting there being a phony.”
She mentioned this secret to her success while speaking to Shaka Senghor – the consulting producer for “Released,” which documents the lives of former inmates during the critical first few months after being released from prison. Senghor wrote a New York Times bestseller about his own experiences after being released after serving 19 years in prison.
Before interviewing Senghor for OWN’s “Super Soul Sunday,” Winfrey asked him what his intention was for making his story public. His answer?
“He wanted people to know that he wasn’t his biggest mistake and that you’re worthy of second chances,” recalled Winfrey.