Kotb talked about interviewing her former co-worker about her headline-making book detailing her time at NBC.
Hoda Kotb is making space for some pretty major interviews. Kotb opened up to ET's Rachel Smith about her new podcast, the advice she received from Oprah Winfrey and Maria Shriver, and what she plans to ask her former Today show colleague, Katie Couric, about her headline-making new book detailing her time at NBC.
"Can I tell you, it's one of my most favorite things I've ever done professionally," Kotb said about recording her new podcast, Making Space. "It is so enlightening and eye-opening, and I feel like every time I finish an interview, I'm like, jotting down life lessons from these people."
Kotb called the experience an "emotional master class."
"It's amazing to sit with someone, to sit with these people who have lived these incredible lives, because you can only live yours, I can only live mine, but they are giving me like -- I'm literally with a piece of paper...I'm like, 'Wait, hold on, what'd you say?'....'OK, I wanna do that tomorrow.' It's like a master class for me. An emotional master class," she shared.
In her conversation with longtime friends Winfrey and Shriver, Kotb not only learned a lesson about friendship, but what to make space for in her very busy life.
"Maria gave me something that you can do to clear your life up. She said, 'Get a platter and write down on pieces of paper everything that occupies your time, your love, and your attention...put it down. Your family, your spouse, your kids, your job, your other job, your charity work, your exercise, put it on a platter and look at your platter. See how full it is -- now start taking things off. Start taking things off, start making room for things because nothing beautiful grows when it's crowded. Nothing,'" Kotb explained. "So, it just reminded me like, I wanna make space for life, I wanna slow it down, I wanna not go wide, go deep. Have a few things that I love and really delve deeply into those."
The Today anchor isn't just making space for herself, she's allowing the celebrity guests she interviews to do so also -- to make space to open up and fully share their story, guests like Sheryl Crow, who hasn't always shared the ups and downs of her very public personal life and career.
"Sheryl Crow is someone who I'm making space for -- she has had the life," Kotb said. "She was with Lance Armstrong -- very public breakup, and she had breast cancer and adopted two kids. She has a lot of stories to tell and doesn’t usually tell them."
She continued, "I'm honored to be able to sit with her. I have to tell you, when you give someone room to say their business, think about that, it's like, all they need is space and a place, and if you just are there, all the sudden stuff comes tumbling out and it's full of connection and I just think to myself, 'I can't believe I get to do this,' and sometimes, it hits me in the middle of an interview."
While Kotb hasn't had a chance to read Couric's new tell-all, Going There, she told ET she's excited to read it all and talk to her former colleague about her storied career that has spanned decades over multiple networks.
"Katie's had a long career and a long life, and this is her kind of final chapter that she’s putting out there into the world, so I’m curious to read all of it and, I don't know, I've only read what I've read in the press, so I do want read the context," she said.
"You want to be obviously totally fair about everything, but I am looking forward to sitting down with her. She worked here for a long time, she left such a mark here, and I'll just be curious, I mean, also to just see how she’s handling the backlash," Kotb went on to say of the book, which touches on everything from career highs to Matt Lauer's scandal at the network.
When asked why she thinks Couric is coming out with a book now, 15 years after leaving NBC, Kotb said, "Everything happens when it's supposed to."
"I’m not sure why this is the time, but everything happens when it's supposed to. She has a career that has spanned decades, over multiple networks, and she really has so many of the most memorable moments in television," she shared.
"I always wondered why she hadn’t already written a book," Kotb added.
New episodes of Making Space drop Mondays.
Tune in to Wednesday's episode of Entertainment Tonight for more of ET's interview with Kotb.