Here’s a secret: you can teach an old brain new tricks, and high performers know how. They’ve learned to override their own anxiety and stress and deliberately think about a pressure situation in a new way. It’s called reframing, and it’s how Oakland A’s pitching coach Rick Peterson got his star players to perform in the clutch — and win. But the skill works in any situation, from sports to business to life.
Reframing isn’t about donning rose-colored glasses or pretending everything is fine when it’s not. It is about finding different ways of interpreting a sticky situation. The resulting new frame leads to a different meaning, which leads to better actions, and better results. Just as important, you feel better about how you handled the situation — with grace under fire — which gives you confidence for the next time. Because, whether it’s baseball or business, there’s always a next time.
Here are 7 reasons that reframing is a priceless skill, whatever challenges we face:
- Reframing is a skill that, with practice, can be learned. It’s not a matter of “you have it or you don’t.”
- Reframing is a powerful life hackthat doesn’t take hours to master. It’s can take only seconds — just as long as it takes to come up with a new thought.
- Reframing is efficient. It redirects your attention toward the opportunity before you instead of what could go wrong. This enables you to use your energy wisely and not waste it on what-if’s.
- Unlike dunking a basketball or becoming a supermodel, reframing is not limited to those who have won the genetic lottery, are rich, well-educated, or ultra-talented. Reframing is available to everyone.
- Reframing can help you anytime, anywhere. The skill resides in your mind: you don’t need to be in an office, in front of a laptop or smartphone, or on a practice field, and you don’t need any equipment to do it.
- Reframing applies in any pressure situation. It applies at work as you seek to solve problems, make presentations, or beat your quota. It applies in academics as you take exams. It applies in your personal life as you sing a solo in the church choir or play in a big game.
- Once you’ve learned reframing, you can use this key skill to teach and positively influence others. One great example: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” which inspired thousands to reframe the civil rights movement from a struggle to a goal.
We all want to come through at crunch time. Reframing allows us to take a pressure situation and flip it from a threat to an opportunity. It teaches us to override our own fears and change our perception from threat to a challenge we can rise to. If a pitcher can do it in front of millions of people in the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, so can we. And the more we flex this new muscle, the more it becomes second nature. High performance is all about using our minds.
Rick Peterson has coached some of baseball’s best pitchers in the past twenty years, including Cy Young Award winners and Hall of Famers. He was the Oakland Athletics’ pitching coach during the famed Moneyball era and has served as a coach with the New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Milwaukee Brewers. He is currently director of pitching development with the Baltimore Orioles. He holds a combined degree in psychology and art. He and Judd Hoekstra are the authors of Crunch Time: How To Be Your Best When It Matters Most. For more information go to www.rickpetersoncoaching.com.
Judd Hoekstra is a leadership and human performance author, consultant and speaker. He serves as a Vice President at The Ken Blanchard Companies, a premier leadership training and coaching company. He is also a coauthor of the bestselling Leading at a Higher Level as well as Who Killed Change? He received his bachelor’s from Cornell University, where he played hockey and baseball. He also graduated from the Advanced Business Management Program at Kellogg School of Management. For more information go to www.juddhoekstra.com.
Guest Post By: Rick Peterson & Judd Hoekstra