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Framing and reframing are one of the best weapons of the trade of supervisors, managers, executives, negotiators, trainers, communicators, and of course, it can practically be anyone's.
In 2010, with two suitcases and a dream , I landed in Vancouver airport as permanent resident immigrant. No networks, no classmates, no alma mater, no friends, no former employment history in Canada. It was tough, starting again from scratch, leaving the familiarity and security of one's country to live in a foreign land. My savings went almost dry, when I finally got job.
I underwent a rigorous job application. I attended 5-panel interview that lasted almost an hour in intensity. I felt I did good but I didn't feel that I am fully secured about it too. For me at that time, it was a case of a good job.
Looking back and talking to my former supervisor, he said that I nailed it. In hindsight, I used a lot of framing and reframing skills in that time, illustrating and demonstrating my knowledge, skills, and aptitude towards the job that I am seeking. Instead of just answering their questions, I reframed a lot of them to put myself in a situation where I can give better answers. Remember not all questions are the right questions to answer.
This skill of framing the conversation, creating the situation for honesty and candor, providing alternative perspectives are tried and tested way to ensure that the objectives of the meeting are actually achieved. A lot of times, business meetings take enormous amount of time because the facilitator/chair does not know how to manage difficult conversations and steer them effectively.
Enough of that being said, another reason why reframing is important is because the meat of the topic is being skirted, avoided, or ignored. When this happens, somebody in the group can use reframing to bring back the conversation to the topic at hand, identify the hot issues, the 'elephant in the room' so-to-speak and resolve it.
Authentic communication can flourish when people in the conversation takes more time to listen than speak, frame and reframe what needs to be clearly discussed and addressed, and resolved to be accountable for the results in the interim and the long-term or whatever it takes.
You can't use this enough. I am guilty of not using it when I should be which is most of the time. I guess it boils down to being intentional and clear about what you want out of the conversation and the complexities you are facing in that moment.
I can still recall some of the best moments when I didn't jump into my logical conclusions, waited to hear everyone's perspectives, put myself in their shoes, and checked my intentions before I spoke. It made my day unexpectedly pleasant, effective, and less stressful.
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