Staying Focused Under Pressure

What do you do when someone loses control?


In this backstage interview from Leadercast Live 2019, Gayle King, co-host of CBS This Morning and editor-at-large for O, The Oprah Magazine, shares what was going through her mind when R. Kelly lost his cool during an interview. 

“In that moment, I just thought this, ‘I can't respond in kind,’” she explains. “If I had reacted the same way he did, the interview would've been over, done.”

Watch the video to hear more from Gayle about staying focused during intense moments.

Whenever there is something that's going out of whack, I try to think, "OK, what can we do to save it? What do we need to do to make it better?" When it comes to the R. Kelly interview, nothing could have prepared me for that. I knew that it could possibly be awkward and uncomfortable, because we were talking about something that was very uncomfortable, and very upsetting.

In that moment, I just thought this, "I can't respond in kind." If I had reacted the same way he did, the interview would've been over, done. The main thing I was thinking about in that moment was, "I still have some more questions to ask," and I just thought, "If I sit here calmly and let him have that moment and do whatever he's doing, and look at the chair like I'm looking at you now, and signal to him that no matter what you're doing over there, I'm still waiting for you." I wasn't even anxious during that moment, I just thought, "OK, I hope this doesn't last too long, but what I really hope is he'll sit back in the chair so we can continue this interview." You just can't get worked up about things, and I knew, I can't control that situation, but I can control me. So I made the decision in that moment, I'm going to control me.
Data 2fimages 2fdcpulz01t3embivivtne gayleking headshot

Gayle King

Gayle is a media titan, carving her way through the cutthroat media industry for more than 40 years. She is co-host of "CBS This Morning" and editor-at-large for the award-winning O, the Oprah Magazine. Gayle previously hosted "The Ga...

Take Action

Complete the following Action Items to put the insights in this video into practice,
and share them with your team to continue your leadership growth.

Perfect your new leadership skills every day with these exclusive Leadercast exercises, available to Subscribers! Click here to become a Subscriber.

Liquid error: No such template 'platform/programs/search-modal'