The Right Frame Can Make All the Difference

| April 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

People with the responsibility to lead and manage need to be great ‘framers’. A good frame provides th[10]clarity, giving the listener a sense of understanding of your logic and purpose.

A manager, struggling to communicate a change in office location, wasn’t communicating at all because a decision had not yet been made. This lack of communication increased the level of anxiety for the staff, disrupted work output, and resulted in rampant speculation. Staff began to view their circumstances through a variety of negatives frames. Keep in mind, the brain has a need to predict. Whether it’s an office move, a potential merger or acquisition, change in department structures or a new compensation plan, management needs to provide as much information as possible – they need to frame the company’s near-term and future reality.

For example, let’s take the office move. What can be communicated are the variables that you are using to determine the best location. “We know that we need to move. Our lease is up. We are looking at a variety of sites within an 8 mile radius. We have pulled all of your addresses and have a good understanding of the local bus routes. We will be leasing a larger space to accommodate our growth. We hope to make a final offer by the end of next month. As you can imagine we are in active negotiations, so I’m really not at liberty to discuss specific properties. Once a decision has been made we will have 45 days to move. I will provide you with an update each Thursday.” While this statement does not give exact locations of the potential new office, it does provide information; it does support greater certainty: the radius, size, timeline and updates. This is a solid frame, minimizing staff’s need to create their own.

See for more information on how framing impacts brain response.


Category: Blog, Change Management, Neuroscience for Management


About the Author ()

Julia Hill-Nichols, SPHR, is the founder of LeadersCove, LLC. With over 30 years experience in operations and human capital management, Julia is gifted in the art and science of bridging strategic imperatives and a company’s human capabilities—executing for success, meeting bottom-line objectives and enlivening the people who are the organization’s lifeblood.

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