The Bright Side
A month or so ago, I was watching a professional soccer match with my youngest son. Neither team won, but they worked their tails off in the process. I recall listening to one of the coaches. He had a huge smile on his face, and they hadn’t even won anything. The commentator interviewed the coach and asked about this sentiment, and the coach said something like, “It is less about the win and more about their effort and performance.”
This exchange really stuck with me. It made me think about what value I place on winning. Do you see a “tie” or a scenario of everyone winning as a loss? I learned early in my life that to move past “loser” thinking, we must use one essential tool—reframing.
I think that reframing is an undervalued strategy. What is reframing? It is learning to see the brighter side of any situation. As a leader, it is critical to learn to do this and help those we lead do the same for themselves. We all reframe. It is being intentional about reframing when we feel ourselves “losing,” sinking, or lost that makes all the difference.
That professional soccer coach had the right idea. The big part of reframing is in learning. Learning to “see” things differently and for what they truly are. Here is the step-by-step process for reframing:
1. Acknowledge that the experience or situation might make you feel less than perfect or less than a “winner.” This step is crucial because we are all human and have human emotions. If we don’t, then we are like robots. No one wants to hang around with a robot. It’s alright to lean into the emotion of the situation for a short time.
2. Next, you have to say (and this can happen very quickly) that you are done with those emotions, which are often founded in irrational thoughts about what has happened to you. This is where you dump the “stinkin thinkin” and replace it with thinking that moves you and those around you forward.
3. Now, you do as the coach did in quick order. You replace the irrational “loser” words and actions with those that not only help you see the brighter side but help your team do the same. Your mindset will shift. The words you use will too, and now they can choose to emulate it.
When you are a Caring Leader, you must set out to reframe. That means to learn, lean in, and then flip the switch that says to you and to those who look to you for guidance that you won’t let a little tie or even a loss stop you. Instead, you will teach them to learn to see the brighter side of any situation that presents itself. That’s the role of the Caring Leader.