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Reflective Practitioner - ReFrame

What do you want it to look like? What would an amazing experience of being part of your organisation look like?” The coach paused. “Reimagine. Paint me the picture.”

Belinda actually closed her eyes at that point. She took a deep breath and brought to her mind’s eye all that she wanted it to be.

Leadership is all about painting a picture of the future, a picture so attractive to the onlookers it draws them to desire the experience. ReFraming, bringing into focus what you want the picture to look like is the third of our four steps of being a reflective practitioner.

  • ReVisit – Say what you see. What could sit at the root of it? How did it feel? What could sit at the root of it?

  • ReView – Evaluate what worked well and what could be better. Analyse and conclude.

  • ReFrame – What could this look like?

  • ReBuild – what is the one thing that could have the biggest impact? Consider the Priority, Partner and Plan.

So, how do we ReFrame?

Know your purpose

Best business practice asks what your ‘USP’, your Unique Selling Point? Understanding what is your purpose and how you go about meeting it, ensures that you keep the focus of your work on what needs to be focused on. It also allows you to ReFrame around your area of vision. Take a school that works in an area of deprivation. It’s focus and mantra is ‘transformers’ as it recognises it needs a curriculum that encourages its children and families to see themselves capable of transformation. So, the headteacher will paint the picture of a curriculum that teaches about people of transformation, who started poor and went on to great things. They plan to teach skills to help children transform their thinking and learn skills that transform their confidence and give them opportunities. The purpose drives what picture is painted.

Know your excellent

There is a temptation, when we are passionate about leading others, to wish away our current experience in order to take on the ‘big lead’. When we do this, we miss the valuable opportunities that experience brings to ‘know your excellent’. Our experiences, good and bad, help us to understand what is really good. It allows us to see what does and what doesn’t help shape your ‘excellent’. Alongside experience is the knowledge of what is excellent. What does the research in your field tell you? What do successful organisations in your field do? What is best practice in your field and what best practice in other fields could be blended into yours to bring heightened excellence? A key part of this process is knowing your ‘transformation theory’, the process that you know helps people to get to the change that you are after. In artistic terms, ‘everyone can look at a picture and describe it, but to class yourself as a painter – you need to know how to paint it.’ In other words, this is what excellent looks like and we get there by doing X, Y & Z.

Know your people

When I train groups in how to engage people in the vision and direction, I talk about the Venn Diagram and the intersection of interest. You know your vision, but in order to make it sticky and engage people in it, you also have to know your people. What are they passionate about? What do they have a heart for? What thrills them? We then consider when the intersection is. What are they interested in that aligns with the vision we have? We then teach and speak into the intersection.

Key questions

So, when you are planning your reframing, there are some key questions to ask yourself:

What is our purpose?

What does excellent delivery of that purpose look like?

What practice from different disciplines can help us deliver excellent?

What part of the ‘excellent’ do I know my people will buy into and need to emphasise?

What is my change transformation theory? What are the steps we need to take to get to what is in the ReFrame?

I’s recommend to young leaders to start a metaphorical (or real for that matter) scrapbook of what you are learning makes a good ReFrame and what it takes to get you there. And for those in the thick of it, I would recommend those 5 key questions to guide you in what to paint the picture of.

Can we help you?

We hope this blog has been helpful and if you would like some more targeted support to understand a situation better and move forward then Everyday Leader is here to help you. Our clients find their coaching empowering, as we help them gain a full perspective and find a way forward. If you have a challenge and you would like our support, then do get in contact with us. Give us a call on 01449 710438 or email if you would like us to help you explore this and empower you.

Everyday Leader is here to empower, inspire and equip you. If we can help you find a way forward, through coaching, training or consultancy, do let us know. Contact us now:


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