Pt. 3 – Reframe Your Challenges – The Top 3 Habits of Agile Leaders

In Part 3 of How to Install the Top 3 Habits of Agile leaders, we explore the Reframing Your Challenges Worksheet. In Part 1, you got clear on your ideal outcome. In Part 2, you turned around concerns. Now, in Part 3, you turn challenges into wins. These are leadership habits to enhance communication and personal development.

HABIT #2 of Agile Leaders is the Ability to CHOOSE YOUR PERSPECTIVE

Think about that for yourself. Do you only see the “glass as half empty” in challenging situations? Do you sweat the small stuff and drive yourself crazy? Agile leaders look for and attract the hidden benefits in challenging situations. They don’t always see the glass as half full. They switch perspective depending on the situation. The most important skill they have is to go into neutral, which allows them to assign the most beneficial meaning to a challenge. If you have studied meditation, you may have learned about developing the “neutral compassionate witness.”

What Meaning Do You Give Challenges?

When you go into neutral, you can assign a meaning that’s going to give you what you want. Non agile people just let subconscious programs dictate their response. For example, two business partners just found out they didn’t get approved for a business loan.  One complained about how all banks are crooks. The other called the bank manager to find out how to be more loan worthy next time. Both assigned a different meaning to the same situation.  The first partner cast himself as a victim and the bank as a villain. The second cast himself as a student and the bank as a teacher. It’s about you taking back control of the meaning that you give situations.

Reframing Your Challenges worksheet

Download the worksheet HERE. It’s incredibly helpful for people who may not realize they are assigning an “unhelpful” meaning to a challenge. It highlights what’s called “The Story phenomenon”. People speak in narrative form most of the time. In other words, they cast characters, give them motivations and assign meaning to the story. That story can either help them reach their goals, and feel better; or it can block their goals and make them feel worse. Think of the last time you told a story about a challenge. Did you feel better or worse afterwards?

Tell Me About a Time You Overcame a Big Challenge

I had a client who loved his job but feared the public speaking aspect of his role. He would worry for days beforehand. He looked awkward at the front of the room. One time I happened to be at one of his events. About 15 minutes before he was going to speak, I could tell he was nervous. I knew he played soccer and had scored the winning goal on the weekend.  I said “I heard your team won. Tell me about the game.” He gave me a few brief details, but I egged him on.  “I want to hear in detail what happened. How did you manage to score the winning goal? Take me through it step by step”. He goes onto describe how tired they were, and how it looked like they would lose, what the coach said that boosted their spirits, how he got the ball away from the defenseman and made a long shot goal. After he finished the story he was beaming. Then, it was his time to go on stage. He looked so much more confident and at ease. Afterwards he came over to me and says, “You tricked me. Telling that story really worked. Thank you. Feel free to trick me like that again.” 

Try it for yourself. The Reframing Your Challenges Worksheet can help you find the silver lining in past challenges which give you what we call “The MindStory” to prevail in your present day challenge. Look for Part 4 4.

For Part 4 go HERE

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