Reframing a Situation

Managers and HR professionals often have to deliver news or provide feedback where the message is less than desirable. A natural reaction is avoidance because no one wants to hear bad news. However, that will not solve the problem. It will only make things worse. One way to relieve the negative tension is to reframe the situation.

Reframing a situation is choosing to see a situation in a new light. It shifts the focus to be less limiting. It attaches new meaning and a future focus to a situation. It turns a negative into a positive. Seeing a situation positively will cause you to act positively. It will allow you and the listener to:
• Focus on positive aspects
• Put the situation in the best possible context
• Learn from experience
• Move forward with positive action

Reframing presents a new context. In reframing, ask yourself:
• How does this frame limit me?
• Where does this frame lead me?
• What might a desired future look, sound and feel like?
• What would this situation/task/experience look like if it were to end successfully?
• How might this challenge be an opportunity?
• What’s the flip side of the negative aspects?
• How would an unbiased observer describe this situation?

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