How Framing Influences Leadership Effectiveness

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  • 0:02 A First Look at Framing
  • 0:43 Defining Key Terms
  • 1:32 Why Is Framing Important?
  • 2:49 Framing Case Studies
  • 4:07 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

We all have our own views and opinions; however, many leaders use special techniques to influence these views and opinions. In this lesson, we will learn about one technique called framing and how it can be an effective tool for many companies.

A First Look at Framing

Do you remember as a kid when you imagined something that may have not been accurate, but in your mind it was perfect? Maybe you imagined a make believe place that was filled with candy and toys as far as the eye could see. Whatever the vision, no matter how unrealistic it may have been, if you could describe it in vivid detail even your friends and family could begin to visualize it. As a kid, I'm sure you had no idea that the picture you were painting for others to imagine was the beginning step in learning to use framing. In many companies today, leaders use the technique of framing to get others to paint a mental picture so that they better understand the vision of the company.

Defining Key Terms

Let's take a moment to define some key terms. First, we have framing. Framing is the process of explaining a concept, situation, or idea so clearly that others can paint a mental picture of it. It is essentially like placing a pretend frame around an idea or situation so that we only see a certain view or perspective.

The framing effect comes from presenting information in a way that changes or influences someone's decision. This is often achieved by using certain words or pictures to help persuade someone to feel the way we want them to feel about an idea, concept, or situation. For example, if we say the glass is half full, we are saying that we need to be positive and that we can overcome any adverse situation. If we say the glass is half empty, we may feel that we are defeated and there is little hope.

Why Is Framing Important?

So why would a leader use framing? How can painting a mental picture help employees? Well, the goal of a good leader is to help inspire and lead employees to do quality work. Their job is to help a company reach their goals and objectives, and in order to do so a good leader needs to help employees get through less than ideal times so that the company can stay productive. This often requires leaders to use framing.

For example, if the morale of employees is low because there are rumors of layoffs, a good leader might borrow the glass is half full strategy and use models that show positive sales numbers. In other words, a leader might paint a picture of the company reaching enough sales to maintain the current staff level and even exceed their sales numbers so that there is a Christmas bonus. Once employees can frame this mental image, they may begin to think that the glass is half full and have a positive outlook for the company and their future there as employees.

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