The Power of Reframing

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The Power of Reframing

By | November 2012
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The Power of Reframing
In this article, the authors pointed out that framing could have a big impact in our ability to make a decision quickly even without thinking about it. "You can make decisions quickly and automatically because you know at a glance where you are and what you need to do next" (Bolman and Deal, 2008, p. 12). It is interesting to note that learning how to develop this talent could increase your likelihood of putting these ideas to use. While I was aware that framing could provide a significant difference on the quality of our judgments, I really enjoyed the valuable techniques and tools that the authors discussed when trying to frame and reframe experience fluidly. In my experience, learning to frame multiple complex problems when I was in the Navy gave me the confidence to make a quick decision and developed "fluid expertise."

With all the challenges organizations are facing today, everyone needs a mental model - a frame - to guide us in our action. According to Bolman and Deal (2008, p. 12), "a good frame can enhance your perceptual data into a coherent pattern - a picture of what's happening." During my time in the Navy, as an Engineering Officer of the Watch, I discovered that when face with a very challenging situation the "quality of your judgments usually depend on the information you have at hand, your mental maps, and how well you have learned used them" (Bolman and Deal, 2008, p. 12). This was evident when during our Western-Pacific deployment our ship suddenly experienced a loss of vacuum in the main engine. Like any other steam propulsion turbines, in order for the main engine to work efficiently the main condenser needs to operate under a vacuum. This is very critical because if the vacuum is lost, it can cause a major damage to the main engine. With the myriad training and experiences I had accumulated over the years in steam propulsion plants operation, I was able to view the event holistically and identified...

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