Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about the importance of reframing one’s language and ideas. The term “reframing” has been all over social media and is a trending topic in psychology. However, this trend isn’t a flash in the pan. Because of the benefits of reframing, it may be a trend that’s here to stay.
What is Reframing?
Changing Minds wrote, “Reframing is the general method of changing the meaning of something and thereby changing minds. You can reframe a problem as an opportunity, a weakness as a strength, (or) an impossibility as a distant possibility.” For example, if you were to stop calling yourself impulsive and instead refer to yourself as spontaneous, you would be reframing a weakness as a strength. Can you see how reframing could be a beneficial practice?
Why Employees Should Reframe Their Weaknesses
If you are in a management position, you may want to consider teaching your employees reframing skills. Reframing their weaknesses as strengths will help them begin to focus more on the positive aspects of their personalities and work habits than the negative. It would be worthwhile to monitor productivity before, during, and after the reframing process to see if and how it is impacted. It wouldn’t be surprising if reframing employee weaknesses made for a stronger and more productive workforce.
Reframing Aids Employees in Managing Stress
In addition to possibly making employees more productive, reframing is an effective stress manager. Reframing aids employees in not only seeing themselves in the best light, but also situations. 4 Steps to Shift Perspective and Change Everything stated, “Using reframing techniques can actually change your physical responses to stress because your body’s stress response is triggered by perceived stress, not actual events. Reframing techniques are a way of minimizing the stressors you perceive in your life, thus easing the process of relaxation.” Since relaxation promotes mindfulness, which promotes productivity, reframing should be taught in the workplace.
How to Help Employees Reframe Their Weaknesses
Helping your employees reframe their weaknesses is simple. First, form small teams. Then, have each team member make a list of their top 10 weaknesses. Once their lists are created, have team members share their lists with the group (this could also be considered an exercise in vulnerability!). Last, have the group help each team member reframe their negative characteristics. ‘Demanding’ may change to ‘assertive’, ‘sensitive’ to ‘intuitive’, ‘timid’ to ‘careful’, and ‘bossy’ to ‘leader’. You get the idea.
Discover some other ideas for teaching employees reframing skills here.
Would you ever teach your employees reframing skills? Why or why not?
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