(submitted for doctoral study, Fall 2004 – not sure I understand this now reading it 8 years later…)
My initial reaction to the concepts present in ‘The Art of Framing’ (Fairhurst and Sarr, 1996) is that there are people who frame their communications instinctively from an early age, and other who never seem to grasp the concept of context, leaving those with whom they communicate, searching for a frame.
I consider myself to align more closely with the first mentioned group, more so than the second. As I read ‘The Art of Framing’ I kept thinking, “I could write this stuff!”, but as I continued through the chapters, I found that while I indeed may already frame (or manipulate?) my language purposefully when seeking responses that I desire, I have not made a formal or conscious transition to utilizing the technique to lead.
The realization of this point of fact came to me as I read the conversation between two employees discussing TQM concepts. When the employee (subordinate) spoke dismissively about the process, the manager, in what appeared to an effort to keep communications open and light, echoed the negatives; reinforcing them, instead of taking the opportunity to remain friendly, but also inculcating support of the TQM program at the same time.
In positions of leadership, as opposed to management, my goal will be to keep an eye on the prize, even while maintaining open, friendly relations with the entire work team – colleagues and subordinates. Throughout the Core experience, I will practice, and attempt to refine my abilities in leadership, incorporating this lesson.
Fairhurst, Gail T., and Sarr, Robert A. (1996). The Art of Framing: Managing the Language of Leadership. San Francisco:Jossey-Bass.