This week we are sharing a story Donna received from one of her coaching clients. This client is an executive in a global consulting company, highly motivated and driven to succeed. She recently received feedback from her supervisor that the client labeled as “negative feedback.”
She came to a coaching session with Donna upset and “stuck in the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT).” After the coaching session, Donna asked her to write down her experience by “mapping” the DDT and applying some of the tools she had learned about how to escape the DDT. Two weeks later she sent this story to Donna.
We’re delighted to share it as an example of shifting from the DDT to TED*—and the power of expressing appreciation.
“Here’s the truth. I am a millennial who is a glutton for positive feedback, which gives you an idea of how difficult it was for me to hear that I was rated a 4.5 out of 5, but I wasn’t being considered for a promotion immediately.
Here is what my supervisor said at my midyear review:
“You show your frustration and need to improve your poker face.”
“You can be too domineering in meetings.”
“You’re doing really well, and we will review your promotion in 3 to 6 months.”
After the session I immediately went to the airport for a planned visit with my family. Taking my seat, I politely asked the first-class flight attendant to keep my wine glass full as I slipped into my own DDT. Here is how I mapped it:
The next two weeks passed in a similar manner.…deflated.…drinks…reclusion.…repeat. Each time I felt myself getting frustrated at work, the cycle would repeat. I wanted, more than anything, to immediately fix these areas of feedback. A close colleague even asked if I was sick.
Two weeks after receiving the feedback, our team met that had gone through the 3 Vital Questions and TED* training. The subject for our time together was applying the ‘3 Levels of Appreciation’ and gratitude as a way to shift our focus and inner state. I partnered with a close coworker and each time she spoke honestly about her appreciation of me, I felt my veil of disappointment lighten. No one in the room knew about the prior weeks and my struggle.
I realized that a little gratitude could dramatically change the focus of someone who desperately needed it. Me.
After the session I felt an urgent need to text personal notes to several close friends and family members. I mentioned to each how much they meant to me, and how grateful I was for their individual contributions to my life. Their responses brought tears to my eyes.
After the team meeting, I excused myself from the office and sat outside at a café nearby. A new co-worker happened to pass me, saw my tears and immediately took a seat across from me. We had not interacted extensively, but I told her about the course of my day and contacting the people close to me. She mentioned that she had never felt so welcomed to a new job or group of people because of me. Her affirmation eliminated any lingering frustration, negativity and doubt from my mind.
I could positively impact myself and others by employing something I already knew all about: gratitude. The mastery of a poker face and employing more tact would come. The practice of gratitude in my daily life was an immediate upgrade to my focus and inner state and restored my mental fortitude.
I will get that promotion, and I am already a better team-member from the feedback.”