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Redefining Motives - Comments

 

Doug Wesley writes:

Ken,

I agree that the reframing technique you offer can be effective and useful.

I take issue, though, with the general tone of the examples you raise.
Running through most of these examples is the orientation that there is
something wrong with the other person. For instance, newspapers are
disingenuous, Bill is hateful, and Mary is jealous and mean.

I believe this technique is more likely to work if the "formulas" offered in
reframing allow ourselves and others dignity and space to be right. As
offered, it feels a lot like blame shifting: a process that, I think, takes
us deeper and deeper into conflict.

Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this discussion.

Doug Wesley
ChangeCraft
http://changecraft.com

 

Thank you for writing Doug. Your comments actually give me the opportunity to make some additions.

My purpose is to illustrate and clarify the formulae we hear everyday and which almost everyone uses.

Analysis of Doug's Argument

Doug establishes rapport by saying he agrees with the principle:

"I agree that the reframing technique you offer can be effective and useful."

Doug reframes the MEANING of some of the examples.

"Running through most of these examples is the orientation that there is
something wrong with the other person. For instance, newspapers are
disingenuous, Bill is hateful, and Mary is jealous and mean."

For example, 'Bill hates change' becomes 'Bill is hateful'. Many people say they 'hate change'. This does not make them hateful. Doug has made a MEANING reframe here.

Now we have a CONSEQUENCE reframe.

"I believe this technique is more likely to work if the "formulas" offered in
reframing allow ourselves and others dignity and space to be right. As
offered, it feels a lot like blame shifting: a process that, I think, takes
us deeper and deeper into conflict."

Saying that if my examples continue as they are they will not work(consequence). If they change somewhat, then the consequence will be that they will work. This is a persuasive consequence reframe. There is no logical necessity nor support for these reframes. Sadly, I have known people to work and adore those who give them no space and grant them no dignity.

By reframing the meaning of the examples, and then applying a consequence reframe, Doug has created a good argument. He continues:

"As offered, it feels a lot like blame shifting: a process that, I think, takes
us deeper and deeper into conflict."

There is a MEANING reframe here where the process is redefined as 'blame shifting'. Even if the examples all involved blame shifting, then how does this make the process 'blame shifting'? Using a gun barrel to stir your tea doesn't make it a tea spoon! The above is also a CONSEQUENCE reframe. The consequence of 'blame shifting' is that we are taken 'deeper and deeper into conflict'. (Brilliant rhetoric!) Finally we can ask (using the Being Specific Model):

Who specifically is in conflict with whom and exactly how are they doing it?
How is this bad? (People blame each other all the time, and they still seem to fair reasonably well!)

Doug's argument is very persuasive and effective. Well done, Doug!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clarification that learning examples are not practice examples!

Illustrations, to be clear, are often artificial and affected. They illustrate the point only. They are not a model of counselling, selling or what-have-you. It is, sometimes necessary to build rapport and not to use what we have learned in a clever or cute manner.

In a counselling situation, we might allow the other to say what they like, while we make agreeing and pleasant noises. When they have calmed down, and begin to think about what they have said, we might make tentative suggestions. In the process, most people correct themselves and we often have no need to say anything. Sometimes, others go on and on and take our quietness as weakness. They do not stop until we respond to them appropriately.

In communicating these ideas, I omit all the rapport building skills. I believe the ideas are better taught as vignettes containing only the illustration. Sometimes the more piquant the example, the more memorable and entertaining.

The examples illustrated reframing motives as a means of persuasion. When I re-read them they didn't seem especially contrived. They were example one could hear in everyday life. Sometimes, reframing a motive in a positive way is more appropriate. On other occasions it produces more conflict.

Keep your ears open for examples of MOTIVE reframes and become aware of how they are used.

Please visit the New Life Course - and bring your Mind back to Life!

Freeing the Mind - Many articles on personal development!

https://trans4mind.com/personal_development/index.html


Most Recent Revision: 17-Apr-99.

Copyright 1998, 1999 Ken Ward,

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