Skill 10: Reframing Others

imageFrench novelist Marcel Proust wisely observed that, “The real journey of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” How you choose to see or interpret an event is far more important than the event itself.

Getting laid off at work can be seen as the worst thing that could possibly happen or as an opportunity for a new career. Having a relationship end can be viewed as a reason for depression or as liberation for the soul. It all depends on your frame of reference. How you choose to see the event.

One way you can really help and encourage others is to reframe their negative frame of an event with a positive reframe.

You can reframe any event with the phrase, “Well, another way of looking at this is…”

“I didn’t get a second interview for the job and I’m terribly upset.”
(Your reframe). “Well, another way of looking at this is that you gained more interviewing experience and this will increase you chances of success next time.”

People don’t have to agree with your positive reframe, but at least you planted the seed for a new interpretation or frame on the event. Even if they don’t see it your way, at least you’ve stretched your mind and imagination to see with new eyes. Catch the reframe?

Return to the world and see if you can offer a positive reframe to a friend’s complaint.


Strength and honor.