Human beings are meaning making machines. We learn the meaning of things from an early age from our individual culture and the significant others in our lives. The meaning or ‘frame’ that we place on something has a significant impact on how we respond to it.
We can choose to shift our perspective at any time without waiting for it to be shifted for us. We call this process of shifting perspective “reframing”, and it’s an essential part of all coaching. It is useful in coaching situations because sometimes clients get stuck with a particular way of perceiving a situation which may be disabling rather than enabling for them.
Reframing helps them to see things differently and subsequently come to different conclusions, or feelings about the event or experience. Your ability to help reframe a situation for your client provides a new perspective and often a sense that things that seemed impossible may now be possible.
In transformational coaching reframing is about more than seeking to see something in a new way by asking questions that enable the shift. It’s about creating a shift in consciousness which then allows a person to see things in a whole new way. In other words the new perspective drops in automatically, as a result of the consciousness shift. Focus on shifting consciousness in your sessions, and perspectives will automatically shift to reflect that new/higher state of consciousness.
The Path to Reframe a Perspective
- Be curious and inquire into the perspectives your clients are holding on to. Are they limiting or supporting the lives they desire?
- What is the state of consciousness that is giving rise to those perspectives?
- People also benefit when they recognize that they are the sole creator of their every perception. And they always have the choice to change it or hold on to it.
- Is there any resistance to the discovery of the limiting perspective?
- Are people in a place of accepting the way they do perceive a situation or themselves, rather than judging it or beating themselves up for seeing in that way?
- “Need” or desire to reframe
- Are they ready and willing to go into it? Readiness is a great enabler of the shift. (If not, here are some tips for working with resistance.)
- Once it’s clear that your client desires to move past the perspective their holding on to, reframing becomes possible.
- Ask powerful questions
- What is the belief or value behind it?
- How is this perspective serving you?
- What new, more empowered perspective can you take on?
- Focus on the energy
- What is the energy behind the belief you’re holding on to? How does it make you feel? Where in your body do you feel it?
- What energy are you wanting to experience instead? Now let’s expand it…
- Guide them into their desired state or perspective
- If you changed your perspective to ___________, what would your life look like? How would you feel? How would you think? How would you BE?
- Ask powerful questions
- Nurturing the new accepted perspective (sustaining)
- Sometimes old perspectives take some time to shift while other times it happens in an instant. Each person and situation is different. The main thing to keep in mind is to continue holding space and trust in the process. The change will come naturally when your client is ready and is willing to perserve in changing their perspectivs.