If outspoken, strong female leaders are your thing, then you’ve probably heard of Kamala Harris. The California Senator and 2020 presidential candidate has had her bright moments in the spotlight, and not just for her campaign, but for her ‘take no prisoners’ attitude.
Her unwavering dedication to her principles, which includes women’s equal pay, reproductive freedoms and busting corruption, is something we can all take a page from, regardless of our political beliefs.
During high-profile Congressional hearings, Harris has been able to suss out the lies, block out the mansplaining and get to the point.
For example, in May 2019, Harris squared off with Attorney General William Barr during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller Report, which investigated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. She asked the tough questions that some of her colleagues weren’t willing to, like whether or not Barr had personally reviewed all the underlying evidence in the report before publicly concluding that the President did not commit obstruction of justice. Applying pressure, Harris got Barr to admit that he hadn’t, despite previously making a statement that cleared Trump of any wrongdoing.
Harris has also left former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2017 and Judge Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 sputtering for words.
When the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh, about his past opinions on Roe v. Wade, Harris made her point with one single question: “Can you think of any laws that give government the power to make decisions about the male body?” she asked. Clearly stumped and after some awkward back and forth, Kavanaugh conceded that there is no such law.
At a Senate hearing on Russia and the Trump campaign, former prosecutor Harris interrogated Sessions on his conversations with the President, some of which he stated he would not disclose, based on a “policy” he followed.
When pressed further by Harris on which policy exactly he was referring to and whether he could show that policy in writing, Sessions balked, admitting it was an unspoken principle of confidentiality between the President and the Department of Justice.
In the end, the best lesson Harris can give us is to not give our time to nonsense. We’re all just way too busy for that.
Is your medical provider not addressing your health concerns completely? They may be an expert, but not the only one out there. Get a second or alternative opinion. Want to hire a service, but don’t trust the glowing online ratings? Vet them in person, instead.
Like Harris, ask the questions that need to be asked, politeness be damned, to make sure you’re making well informed decisions in your life.
Jump into their shoes and think about what they care about. They’re more likely to buy whatever you’re selling or be more sympathetic to your cause. In fact, Dale Carnegie outlined this same principle in his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
If a slimy salesperson is trying to pull one over you, ask to read their company policy. If there’s some sort of mishap at work and the blame seems to have landed squarely on you, check the paper trail to clear your name.
And keep your own receipts; if you’re experiencing a toxic work environment or an abusive relationship, for example, save any relevant emails and correspondences to make your case to legally defend yourself.