The Art of ReFraming

brown wooden rectangular photo frame
Photo by Burak K on

One of the things that keeps us stuck, at work, and in organizations is the way we frame things.

We can’t see beyond the reality of the way we have framed something; so, we’re stuck.

In a recent episode of the TV series New Amsterdam, there is a patient who lost a lot of weight but as a result had developed hanging skin on her arms.  She was ashamed of it and in fact it called more attention to her than when she was obese.  She was so ashamed that she even considered suicide.  The hospital staff couldn’t help her surgically because the insurance codes didn’t allow for plastic surgery.  Being the rebels, they are they decided they would reframe it by giving her a different diagnosis…. they decided to “give her cancer.”  Surgery for cancer was allowed and covered under insurance codes.  So, they documented, falsely, that the patient had a certain form of cancer, so that they could operate, and she would be covered.

I’m not advocating doing anything illegal, but we may need to reframe certain situations in our life in order to move forward.

Here are some typical ways we frame things and a way we can reframe these thoughts:

-Getting let go: Typical frame: I’m a loser!  Reframe: My gifts will be better used somewhere else

-Lost a sale: Typical frame: I lost/we lost.  Reframe: I’ve learned something

-Bombed at that presentation: Typical frame: I’m not very good.  Reframe: I’m getting better

-Bad customer review: Typical frame: Something’s wrong with the customer.  Reframe: I know now what the customer wants or needs.

When we run stuck; when we feel like a failure; when we can’t see beyond our situation it may be time to consider reframing it.  When you do you can work from a fresh new angle.



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