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In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions...When It Counts by Jerry Weissman

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Chapter 1. The Critical Dynamics of Q&A

To fully appreciate the importance of control in handling tough questions, we should first look at the consequences of loss of control. A vivid example of such a disastrous unraveling comes from an episode of the 1970s comedy television series, The Bob Newhart Show. The widely known series is still running in syndication. One particular episode has become a classic. In it, Newhart plays a psychologist named Robert Hartley, who amiably agrees to appear on a Chicago television program to be interviewed by Ruth Corley, the program’s hostess. This is the interview:

Ruth Corley: Good morning, Dr. Hartley. Thank you for coming. I hope it’s not too early for you.

Dr. Hartley: No, I had to get up to be on television. ...

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