Thursday, June 27, 2013

R2: Strengthening Our Capacity to Reframe

If we can learn how to share our perspectives, we can see the whole picture.  That may sound easy, but as a practical matter, it involves figuring a way out of our own minds…with practice and the right methods, we can learn to see the way in which attention limits our perspectives.  After all, we learned how to pay attention in the first place.  We learned the patterns that convinced us to see in a certain way.  That means we can also unlearn those patterns.  Once we do, we’ll have the freedom to learn new, collective ways that serve us and lead to our success. Cathy N. Davidson. Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work and Learn, Viking Penguin, 2011. p. 5.

You are choosing your focus and so is everyone else. Your attention is being drawn in lots of directions. What do you want to focus on?

As a leader, how do you “see” the people you work with? From what frame do you direct the attention of your team?  What criteria are you using to choose a focus?  What questions are you asking? The single greatest tool we have at our disposal to craft our frames is the ability to ask powerful questions, questions that illuminate a situation, the context, the stakeholders, our current place in it, and what future we want to create.

Here is a framing chart I have pulled together over the past years that helps me choose how to look at something. I’m sure it’s not complete.  If you think of other ways to help us frame a situation, please share them in the comments section below. I’d love to make this more even more useful and to have more dialogue with you.

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