Thursday, November 28, 2013

Reframe: "Being Let Go" or "Being Let Forward"?

A while ago I did a talk on “Branding for Mid Career Professionals” for a group of mid-career executives who had recently been let go from their jobs, something I can empathize with as having been in this same chair. 

In the midst of this discussion, I had an intuitive reframe when I used the term, “being let go”. The reframe was that “being let go” can, with a twist of perspective, be reframed as “being let forward”. (Caveat: I say this soberly with respect for how serious and traumatic being let go can be.) 

The a-ha of this reframe for me, and I will only speak about me, is that I know that when I was let go, I was in a state of extreme attachment to the script, mental map, culture and routine of the company I had worked for for a number of years. This attachment, while comforting and seemingly secure, was also holding me back in some areas of my development. Certainly, I would have preferred to have continued my development in this company but on reflection, I realize that they letting me go was an opportunity for me to be let forward in terms of my personal growth. In the decade since that letting go, I see that I have grown more by way of this separation than if it had not happened.

The point here is that if we can stay with our current companies we probably should and will, but when we do not have a choice, and increasingly we do not, see the "letting go" as an opportunity of being "let forward" is a valuable and energizing reframing that can do us more good than not.

I hope this reframe will be useful to you someday, but not any day soon.

Fun, Even in Most Difficult of Situations and People. A-Ha!!!

Recently while coaching one of my clients we stumbled across a discussion on the value of fun. In doing so, I reflected on the most compelling definition of fun I have ever heard. Fun is a surprise, an a-ha, that teaches us something new. It is a compound effect. We all are surprised, at times, but do not perceive we have learned anything new. We also have situations where learn but do not experience it as a surprise. When these two effects of surprise and learning come together, we have fun. No wonder fun is such a high value for so many. 

It really is a shame how either through fact or perception we miss so much fun in life, and at work in particular. In our discussion, we both came to the joint conclusion that fun is more in our control than we thought, for if we saw more of the learning in daily surprises, too often referred to as problems, we would  perceive our lives as more fun. Conversely, if we constructed learning experiences for others and ourselves to include more elements of a-ha and surprise, we would also perceive our lives as more fun. 

Herein we see that the level of fun in our lives is more in our control than we thought based on our perception, and that we have more power to inject fun in the lives of others with a bit of creativity and planning on our part.  

The big lesson for me in this rumination is that even the hardest and most difficult of situations and people can be seen as fun if I also recognize the elements of surprise and learning they almost always contain. A-ha!!!