Reframing is a useful technique to deliberately derail our entrenched thinking patterns and flows, so as to enable us to see a given situation from alternative perspectives.

Dev Patnaik documented three kinds of reframes:

  1. Step out of your own perspective and see the world as it sees itself. (Walk in someone else’s shoes)
  2. See the world in a way that’s completely different from anyone else. (Read between the lines too see patterns)
  3. Reframe the way you solve a problem. (Do it differently)

Reframe types 1 and 2 “focus on empathy, understanding how other people view the world, both explicitly and implicitly.” Reframe type 3 “relies equally on creativity and empathy.”

Clearly empathy (the ability to see things from other perspectives, even when we don’t agree with these perspectives!) is a core ingredient of successful reframing.

From Wired to Care by Dev Paitnaik with Peter Mortensen. ISBN 0-13-714234-X.

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Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy