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Member since: Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:17 PM
Number of posts: 733

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Barra/Lauer Interview: reframing the question

I wanted to address two subjects that hit me as I watched the interview and I want to get your feedback on my reactions. Let me say here that I mean no dispargement of Ms. Barra in discussing the interview; it is just one example of a universal situation.

First what is the purpose of asking "can you do both"?

This is the macho version of have you stopped beating your wife.
This nonquestion is designed to remind all viewers that women are handicapped in the business world; that they lose some intangible "mommy" ability when they are successful. In fact, Lauer says that it's okay for him to ask the questions because she brought it up: by mentioning her family. As if mention of a family suddenly generates a doubt that she can do the job: OMG, she has a family.

Lauer is not interested in if Ms. Barra "thinks" she can do the job; he is interested in framing the interview.
Though Ms. Barra's answer seemed reasonable, it only legitimatized the question and put her on the defensive. The question made Lauer a "hard hitter" and Barra's answer, "I think I can", sounded defensive and weak.

Second, why do business women still fall into the trap of answering nonquestions? I am sure that as a successful business woman, Ms. Barra has been taught the fundamentals of answering hard questions as well as the importance of public relations. But on national tv, given an opportunity to provide a strong answer that highlights the subtext fo the question, she stumbles.

This is not the first time that question has been asked, and yet she had not a prepared answer. Where was her training in dealing with gender stereotypes?

My feeling is that she needed to reframe the interview by emphasizing that this is not the first job she's had since having a family. She's already done it: raised a family and was a business success.

Hey McCain, explain "mission accomplished" to me again.

Many delusional experts can explain how to go to war. Experts confer and tell the President to send in American troops. Simple. As Karl Rove said you go to war with the army you have, so no problem there.

The experts seem to have forgotten that we didnít win a war in Iraq or Afganistan or, in the distant past, Viet Nam .

They didnít notice that this isnít your grandfatherís war against a united country with armed forces distinct from civilians.

So where can we turn for advice on this important question?

I seem to have forgotten the country whose internal religious war have been concluded peacefully by the intervention of another country? And in less than a generation or two.

What I do remember is how many terrorist groups have we wiped out during theAmerican war on terror. None.

Well, John McCain, Karl Rove, et al. Iíll be waiting for your answer.

Jury duty question.

I was just asked to be on a jury, and I agreed. But when I looked at the posts I couldn't make heads or tails of them. The posts seemed to be responding to different posts than I saw.

I opted out of the jury, but I would like to know what they were discussing. Can you let me know?

Also, if this is not the place for this question, let me know.

thank you.
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