Reality Therapy Role-Play—Need for Power Transcript

Todd Grande: Hi, Maria. How are you doing today?

Michelle: Good.

Todd Grande: You're doing well?

Michelle: Yeah.

Todd Grande: In the… over the last few sessions we've talked the needs in reality therapy, like the need to survive and the need for love and a feeling belonging.

Michelle: Yes.

Todd Grande: How's that progressing? Where do you feel like you are now?

Michelle: I understand all that. At my job now, I feel like I belong there and I'm… I like my job and I want to advance. Right now I just feel like maybe I need to work on… I don't know, I want people to recognize my talents and my skills.

Todd Grande: Specifically at work?

Michelle: Yes.

Todd Grande: The need for power?

Michelle: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I've been there five years and I've proven myself and I feel like they just don't recognize my abilities and my skills. I just applied for a promotion and a couple other co-workers applied and I think I deserve it. I've been there.

Todd Grande: So you're saying that they're not recognizing your skills?

Michelle: I don't think they do, no.

Todd Grande: This is distressing you?

Michelle: Sure.

Todd Grande: Yeah, so remember we talked before in reality therapy the belief we have, the belief we go under, that it's most useful to focus on behaviors you can directly control. You can't really control whether they behave a certain way or not. Does that make sense?

Michelle: Yeah, well I guess I can't make them recognize my abilities, as much as I want to. I can't.

Todd Grande: You could behave in a way where you could increase that probability.

Michelle: I guess. I mean, I try. I try to play by the rules and get to work on time and do extra things and I try to pick up overtime, so I try to get them to recognize that I'm doing good and I like my job.

Todd Grande: But it hasn't happened there?

Michelle: I don't know, but doesn't feel like it.

Todd Grande: It doesn't feel like it?

Michelle: No.

Todd Grande: What could you do to meet that need of power? Do you have any ideas?

Michelle: Well, I look at my coworkers, the ones that applied for this promotion and I see they sometimes come in late or they take longer breaks. They're always going down the snack machine or going to have a cigarette break and I don't do any of those things, so it's frustrating that…what if they get the promotion over me and I feel like I've done so much more and my work ethic is so much better, so sometimes I feel like just going to my supervisor and saying, "Hey, do you know that they've taken longer lunch breaks," or keep track of the times that they've taken breaks where I've stayed and worked.

Todd Grande: So, the way you're thinking of getting power would be moving some of the competition out of the way by pointing out wrong doing or—

Michelle: Sure. I don't want to throw them under the bus, but at least maybe I would be…my efforts would be more recognizable to my supervisor, I think sometimes, if they're not there.

Todd Grande: Let's talk about that choice. That's a behavior, certainly, you can… you can do. You have control over that, but is that a…is that a harmless behavior? Is that one that is positively orientated, which is also one of the areas of reality therapy where the behaviors that you engage in don't harm anybody else and they're positively oriented. Do you feel that matches up well?

Michelle: No.

Todd Grande: It doesn't?

Michelle: It's probably not good to throw them under the bus.

Todd Grande: No. Do you have any other areas you could control where you could still advance your career without having to mention your coworkers indiscretions?

Michelle: I have been thinking about taking some classes, maybe like on supervision or something to advance my knowledge and my level of authority at job. If I want that promotion, then maybe I could go take a class on administration or supervision, something like that. Even like anger management. Take some classes that I know some other supervisors in, not necessarily my area, but other areas that I know… I hear people taking classes and they offer classes, so I guess I could take some classes and show them that I'm really serious about this promotion and I want to better myself even more.

Todd Grande: Mm-hmm (affirmative)—

Michelle: I guess that's a possibility.

Todd Grande: Is that more appealing to you than the other path?

Michelle: I mean, it's appealing, definitely. The other seems quicker and easier, but this definitely… I guess I would be… something I could do for myself and at least I'd feel probably a little better if I—

Todd Grande: So you could become more accomplished. You'd have more education—

Michelle: Sure. Yeah. Yeah, 'cause even if I didn't stay at this job, I guess I could take that education with me.

Todd Grande: Right. It could open up opportunities at new places.

Michelle: Mm-hmm (affirmative)—

Todd Grande: The one path, in a manner of speaking, harms people by mentioning what they've done wrong, but it really doesn't help you develop as a worker, as an employee, but your other idea, the second idea of education, your advancing yourself and building up your own skills.

Michelle: Yeah, so I guess it really doesn't matter what they do. If I just continue to advance and take some classes, I guess that would help me out.

Todd Grande: Yeah, it's a behavior you can control and it's positive. Education's… we generally think of education as good and positive.

Michelle: Sure. It is.

Todd Grande: So, you would feel more powerful, more accomplished and you could do that… accomplish that without having to minimize anybody else. Maybe that's a route to take a look at. What do you think? Is that a route you could follow through with?

Michelle: I think so now that you've compared the two ways that I was thinking. I could definitely do that.

Todd Grande: One of the things I'd like to do is to have really clear and specific goals.

Michelle: Okay.

Todd Grande: It sounds like the educational route is something that makes sense to you.

Michelle: Yes.

Todd Grande: Something you could do. Something you'd like to pursue. What would be the first step in moving forward with education? With the plan you have?

Michelle: Well, I can… I can go down to human resources and look at the list of classes they offer and we can take. There's certain classes that are free anyway, they offer every month, so I could definitely sign up for at least one class and see if it's beneficial.

Todd Grande: All right, so let's start there. That's clear and specific, so you look at a list of the classes.

Michelle: Mm-hmm (affirmative)—There's a list of classes that are offered.

Todd Grande: Say you select one that you feel is closely tied with your goal—

Michelle: Mm-hmm (affirmative)—

Todd Grande: Your need and your goal for power and sign up for that.

Michelle: Mm-hmm (affirmative)—Yes.

Todd Grande: What kind of time frame would you need to accomplish that objective?

Michelle: You mean, how long the class is?

Todd Grande: I mean, to sign up. How long would it take you sign up?

Michelle: I could probably go this week and sign up. It's pretty much open and as long as you sign up a few days before the class starts and I'm not working that day, I can sign up and attended.

Todd Grande: Okay, so this is an objective you could complete before I see you again next week?

Michelle: Yes.

Todd Grande: Is this something that you want to do and—

Michelle: I do, yes.

Todd Grande: All right, so let's make that… let's make that the objective. The goal would be meeting this need for power and the objectives go under the goals, right? The first objective would selecting a class and then signing up for it, so just start with one.

Michelle: Okay.

Todd Grande: Then follow through with that and then I'll see you next week and we'll move to some other objectives.

Michelle: Okay.

Todd Grande: Moving you toward meeting that need of power.

Michelle: Okay.

Todd Grande: Does that sound like a good plan?

Michelle: Yes, definitely.

Todd Grande: All right. Thanks, Maria. I'll see you next week.

Michelle: Thank you.