The exercise – Choose an emotional state and write a minimal story, making sure you include both a transition from one state to another and a trigger for that transition.
Dona was frequently off on sick leave. She had a poor attitude towards work and her colleagues considered her lazy and constantly criticized her lack of commitment.
Last year her manager moved on and a new manager, Joan, joined the team. Joan set up a meeting with Donna and asked her about her job. Donna said she didn’t have much interest in her work and that she had no ambitions because she was stupid. Shocked, Joan asked her why she thought that and Donna replied that she had made a big mistake a couple of years before which had caused a lot of problems.
Joan told her that everyone makes mistakes; she was just unlucky that hers had made a substantial impact and had caught the managements’ attention. She had made no mistakes since then, so Joan told her that she didn’t want to hear any more about her mistakes or about being stupid.
From the beginning Joan treated Donna like she did everyone else and regularly gave her more challenging tasks to do. Gradually Donna stopped thinking of herself as stupid.
Now Donna enjoys her work, is always ready to take something new on and she has not been ill in a long time.