Would Batman or Wonder Woman see it the same way?

One of my favorite coaching tools is a simple tool called REFRAMING. Reframing is all about transforming our perspective so as to come up with new ideas and/or solutions to a problem. It is about trying on different lenses so that our brains can process difficult information and create new results.

If Batman or Wonder Woman were listening to your next work conversation, would they see it the same way? How might they respond?

I recently had a coaching conversation with a client—we’ll call him Mr. B—who was struggling to understand where his employee was coming from on a particular issue…When I asked Mr. B, “How could we look at this situation from a different perspective,” he decided that it would be important to have a conversation with his employee. But not just any old conversation.

Mr. B devised a plan to first have his employee come into the office and speak from his perspective and personal position. Once Mr. B was finished explaining he asked permission to swap chairs with his employee. The employee moved into the seat of the boss and they had the same conversation. Each from a different perspective.

Why would an exercise like this matter, or even make a difference?

To begin with Mr. B had his own insight about how he could approach this difficult situation.

He also had buy in, it was an original thought that he took and put into action. When the difficult employee sat in his boss’ chair he was suddenly able to see the impact that he was having on people and the organization.

Hands -on, experiential learning took place. Creating understanding for both parties. And, as a result the working relationship started to build trust.

When thinking about situations or conversations where you could use the reframing tool, here are a few more questions for you to think about:

  • How could you look at this from a different perspective?
  • If your greatest hero were looking at this same issue, how would they respond?
  • What do you think the other person might be thinking or feeling?
  • If you could look at this situation a week, month, year from now how will it look?

Leslie S. is one of Elation’s ICF Certified, Brain-Based Coaches. She has over 1000 hour of coaching experience and a background in organizational development.

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