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Reframe For A Powerful 2012

“Reframing is…a technique to provide a different perspective in the mind… The process of reframing constitutes the following:
– assessing if the current mental concept, belief or value is useful in the present context
– providing a possible alternate perspective

–Stuart Tan, Apex Institute of NLP, Singapore

Choose your favorite descriptor:

1)   Think outside the box

2)   New paradigm

3)   Shift your context

4)   Get a new story

5)   Transform

6)   Change your world view

7)   Reframe

Whatever term you want to select they are all pointing to the same idea. It’s a new year and it’s time to look at “the same old things” in a new way if you want to inject new life into your organization and your leadership. We prefer “reframe” because we like the definition that started this blog post. Reframing can provide a powerful access to new outcomes that are not just a projection of your past. You may believe having goals, strategies, and vision, are enough for a “new future.” Yet, we have all heard exhortations using these descriptors and phrases over and over with little change in behavior and/or outcomes. So how is 2012 going to be any different?

One of our newer clients recently declared, “I have set goals for the first time in three years.” He had experienced a shift in his view of the market, the economy, and his firm’s capabilities. This “reframe” is allowing him to tell a new story and to set goals he is excited about.

In another case, our Vistage Western Region Best Practice Chairs realized during our meeting in December that we were still harboring “carry over thinking” related to the hardships of the last 3 years and many of those around us were too. We declared a rallying cry for 2012, “Let Go and Thrive,” and worked together to explore what old thoughts and beliefs we each needed to clear to live this theme for ourselves and those around us as we enter the year.

So how do you really get going on “shifting your paradigm?”

First, looking to Stuart Tan’s definition above and Albert Einstein’s oft quoted “problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” Do your current frame of reference or typical daily thoughts and conversations provide a powerful place from which to launch great successes in 2012 or is it all just more of the same? It is very productive to get honest feedback from others you trust about your current patterns at this point. Listening only to your self-assessment leaves you in danger of being in a similar place to “the attorney who defends himself, having a fool for a client.” The members of our Vistage groups provide just this type of “direct and sensitive” feedback to each other on a regular basis.

After you have some objective clarity about your current perspective move to the second step in the opening quote, provide a possible alternate perspective.” It’s time for the reframe! One way to help create a reframe is to “back into it.” We would do this by creating what we call a “Yonder Star.” This is a vision that is created from the perspective of how it would look if everything were working to your heart’s delight. So if the end result was fabulous, (the Yonder Star), work backwards from there and ask yourself (and your team) “what’s missing from that Yonder Star that, if we get to work on it today, will accelerate fulfillment of our exciting new goals and get us to the Yonder Star?” This will be the alternative perspective that can move you powerfully into 2012.

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