I’m working with a client who’s presenting a speech on negotiations, and during his practice sessions he mentioned “re-frame it,” several time. “If someone insults you, re-frame the message,” he says.
I like this idea. I also know how hard it is to do that, especially in the heat of the insult! How often do you misinterpret someone’s comment(s) and consider it/them insulting? Did the person actually mean to insult you? If so, then pause…re-frame your thought process and re-direct the comment into a positive, e.g. “When grow up, you call me and we’ll do business.” Think, s/he’s putting me on the defensive so I’ll make a hasty and negative comment and s/he “wins.” Re-frame: “I appreciate your insight, and I understand the reason(s) for your comment. I take no offense, and hope we can do business together when we both have time to consider the positive outcomes.”
I’m not the best at pausing in the heat of the moment. I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to just blurt out a comment and go on the defensive. This may be the reason that I make professional and personal mistakes; it’s not intentional. Intention sets up most situations. When I haven’t paused or re-framed the comment, I inevitable “lose.” You’re negotiating for a $20 million contract, a lease agreement, a car sale, a place at the table, a Christmas present…whatever the case may be, you want to negotiate the situation to your advantage: We all want to “win.” Maybe, coming to an initial “draw” is more important. Stop and think about the result.
In a day of doing myriad jobs, chasing the illusive time management capsule, dealing with rude people, and forgetting where you parked your car at the airport, your day may be like other people’s: chaotic and stressful. A kind word, a compliment, a pat on the back, an acknowledgement of a job well done or a re-frame of an insult makes your day, and that of those around you: a more pleasant experience.
We need more and more pleasant experiences. Re-framing may be one way to start.
Here’s to valuing you and what you do.