A while back, I interviewed a CEO named Dave Parr regarding a bullying scenario.
Normally we try to keep interviews to seven minutes max, but his was 13.
We spent roughly 10 of those minutes getting to a feeling word:
A word that recognized and acknowledged how he felt about the bullying.
It was hard for him, as it is for so many CEOs.
He was in charge of hundreds of people and expected to take action.
So, he kept jumping to what he wouldn’t allow and talking about how he’d address the behavior.
He wanted to handle the situation, but he was skipping over the first essential step:
When he finally got to a feeling, he had an epiphany.
He remembered being bullied all through elementary school.
It still affected him deeply—more deeply than he realized.
Once he had the epiphany, within 30 seconds, he was able to take the next two essential steps:
Interrupting and repairing.
In the end, he went through the RIR (recognize, interrupt, and repair) like nobody’s business.
Like Dave, people who are in positions of power often struggle with the first step—recognize.
But, to get somewhere meaningful, you have to calibrate how something affects you emotionally.
Because, whether you are aware of it or not, your emotions impact all the decisions you make.