After graduating from a premier engineering institute, Rakesh had just joined Yay Inc., but he did not seem to be very interested in the work. The manager and HR sensed that Rakesh was a shy guy, and so did not try to explore what was actually bothering him. More than a year in the company, while most of his other colleagues moved on to different teams and got promoted, Rakesh was still "stuck" with his "shyness". His manager perhaps might give him the lowest rating; in that case Rakesh would have to forgo his job.
The problem was that Rakesh stammered and he was afraid that if he spoke, people would know about his stuttering and would think poorly of him. The constant need for remaining vigilant, avoiding situations where he would be required to speak; scanning his sentences and keeping away from using "difficult" words; trying to frame and reframe his sentences for next week's conference call; all this was taking Rakesh's entire attention and was eventually leading to constant anxiety and stress.
Finally, his HR decided to speak to him. He invited him for a cup of coffee and tried to figure out what exactly was holding him back. Very reluctantly, Rakesh mentioned his stammering problem and fears. A quick search on Google about stammering and related workplace issues led them to a self-help association. Over a call the HR manager discussed Rakesh’s problem with the self-help association. After the call, the HR manager tried to convince Rakesh to make a presentation on stammering in front of his team. Rakesh did not seem comfortable with the idea and left.
Three months later, Rakesh came to meet the HR and was now willing to give the presentation on stammering. Rakesh gave the presentation and noticed a gradual decrease in his stress levels. Also, his colleagues were more at peace as they were aware of the problem. Today, Rakesh is a senior manager in the company and runs a self-help group for people who stammer.
P.S. The story is partially fiction and partially real, based on my own experiences and observations, but the feelings and emotions are all real.