The Courses You Want #3: Reframing: Turning Problems into Opportunities

The Courses You Want #3: Reframing: Turning Problems into Opportunities

There are 3 sides to every story:  yours, theirs, and the reality.  Clearly, there is some overlap, and the version attributed to reality is often obscure, especially in stories in which the stakes are high, so it seems reasonable to say that any version of the story could stand some adjustment.

What if we could adjust our version of the story to make it more palatable- and to make it one that offers us some benefit?  If a story that leaves us feeling deflated or dismissed could be adjusted to be a story that invites action and possibility, would we not want to make that change?

Reframing can do that.  Consider:

Hema and Ortiz made a fabulous presentation in their bid to run the next project and they were turned down.   Not only that, but now they have to work with- and answer to- the team that won the bid.  Anger, disappointment, and resentment flags are flying.

A colleague sees Hema and Ortiz developing their story of victimization and bias, and suggests an alternative story:

Now you can learn from this project what you can do in the next bid; now you can demo your grace and cooperation; now you’ll have more time to check out other projects;  now you have OPPORTUNITY, not failure.

It’s a slight adjustment; it’s an adjustment that risks insincerity in implementation; it’s an adjustment that might yield none of the suggested outcomes.  But, by reframing their experience, Hema and Ortiz have a chance to move from negativity to at least, neutrality, if not positivity, and this outlook is no small thing in the work world.

Reframing is a simple concept but it can be complex in execution.  Some specific guidelines can make it a habit that will help you, and, as a manager, will help you steer your team.

Ask us about this course you want:  Reframing:  Turning Problems into Opportunities.

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Judy   Judith Pollock, PresidentLanguage at Work4931 Massachusetts Avenue NWWashington, DC 20016Phone