Being your fully aware self in the workplace is not emotional transparency. It is a maturely developed sense of your deeper values expressed in your communication with others. It is an awareness of others and a respect for their perspectives integrated into the expression of your inner values. Beyond that, it can also include a sense of optimism to make your communication even more effective for yourself and your organization.

Reframing is one way of infusing optimism into your everyday thinking. Reframing means rearranging your point of view so that it transforms, generally from negative to a positive outcome. It often means creating a positive spin to increase your options for a desirable outcome.

Learn the art of reframing bad situations. Three ways of reframing bad outcomes are (1) finding the “silver lining”, (2) focusing on solving the problem, and (3) appreciating the moment, with what it has to teach us, even when bad things happen. Then move ahead creatively, garnering support from your helpful associates.

All this falls in line with what psychologists refer to as the “broaden-and-build” theory, which maintains that if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, then you will have more options available in your mental problem-solving resources. In other words, if you allow yourself to fall into a fight-or-flight mode, you become more defensive, worried, and narrow in your thinking. On the other hand, if you can reframe the challenge so that you become more detached from the anxiety and see the situation in a more objective light, with an optimistic outlook, then you body relaxes, your brain operates more effectively, and there are more options from which to choose.

Think of the bosses you’ve worked for over your career. When challenges came calling and there was reason to batten down the hatches, how did your boss react? The best bosses do not lose their heads but rather take the long-range view and put things in their proper perspective.


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