Hey. It’s Stacey Ashley here with another workplace coaching tip for you. Today what I want to focus on is how to help others to step up and own a situation when you’d really love for them to show a little bit of initiative. Now I do hear from time to time from some of the leaders that I work with that they would really like to see a little bit more evidence of people owning their own work instead of just coming to them for answers. Today I’m going to introduce you to reframing. I know for some of you this is a refresher, but I think it’s such a great quick and easy tool to use that it’s really great to keep it top of mind.
Now, when we’re using the concept of reframing we’re also looking at those states of being above the line and below the line. When someone’s above the line I like to describe it as, them having the OAR. They’re taking control of the situation. By that what I mean is, O for ownership. A for accountability. R for responsibility. They’re really stepping up and taking control and having influence over a situation.
Alternatively, somebody could be operating below the line. This is when they’re not really tapping into all of their resources. For them to be able to really deliver on a situation, take responsibility, is a bit more challenging because I like to think of it as really sort of lying in BED. That can sometimes even lead to a little bit of a victim state. B is for blame. E is for excuse. D is for denial. When we’re in that state we’re really not at our best. We’re not tapping in to all of our resources to be able to solve a problem, take ownership of a situation. If you’re in a conversation with someone and that’s what you notice and you’d really like them to step up and to take accountability then you can ask a really simple question.
Let’s just say that you hear a statement from them. Something like, it’s too hard. When someone says it’s too hard, how likely is it that they’re actually going to make progress or proactively make progress with the situation? What we want to do is to help them to become more resourceful so they can make progress with that situation themselves. What I’d suggest is reframing them. Just ask them a really simple question in the positive. Here’s an example. If they say, it’s too hard, you could ask them a question like, how can you make it easy or how can you make it easier? It’s a really simple technique. You just ask them a question in the positive.
A couple of key things to remember. Firstly, we want to ask an open question. The how question or what question, who, where, when, but mostly how and what seem to work really well in this scenario. Then we want to ask them to do something. We want to give them the opportunity to solve this situation or find a way forward. The use of the word you, you’re giving it back to them is really important.
Then we move from a negative word or a below the line word to a positive word. We take it from hard to easy. There’s lots of examples of this. For example, I don’t know how. You might ask a reframing question like, how can you find out? Where are there some resources? Who’s done this before? My favourite is when I hear something like, it’s not my job, which is a very like, I don’t want to be involved type question, very below the line. Not using all my resources. My favourite question for that one is, how can you help? I’m giving it back to them and I’m asking them to step up and show some initiative.
I think reframing is great. I really encourage you to practise it because it’s an in the moment technique, but it can change the course of a conversation for you and really allow you to focus on your work, and to help others to focus and move forward on theirs using their initiative and accountability.
Good luck. You’ll find lots of opportunities to reframe.
I’d love to hear how you go.
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