In the mid-1990s, Dr. Phil McGraw met billionaire media mogul Oprah Winfrey when she hired his Texas-based trial consulting firm to help her prepare for a defamation trial in which she was the defendant.
Winfrey, who won the trial, was reportedly so impressed with McGraw, a psychologist most commonly known as Dr. Phil, that she later invited him on to her popular talk show.
He soon was offered a weekly segment in which he discussed relationships and life strategies — and McGraw later went on to have his own program, the Dr. Phil show, which is now in its fourteenth season.
Business Insider recently asked McGraw to share the biggest lesson he’s learned from Winfrey, who he still considers a “dear friend” 20 years after meeting her. He said:
I think the most important thing I’ve learned from Oprah is the impact of a generosity of spirit. Oprah has what I call a ‘health engendering personality.’ When she’s around people, they feel better about themselves than they did before she got there. And being able to be around people, interact with people, in a way that allows them to feel better about who they are when you leave than they did when you got there, is a real talent. It’s a a real great goal to have — and she does that in spades.