The One Question You Should Ask to Reframe Disappointment

written by  Ryan Seamons

My friend, Rob Callan, shared his thoughts on LinkedIn about reframing. Reframing can change a miserable experience into something desirable.

How we frame situations matters, especially when we’re doing hard things.

If you’re on a team and you feel enthusiasm stalling for a new project, try focusing instead on what people can learn, achieve, and become–that’s a lot more compelling than focusing exclusively on the tasks themselves.

I was once told by my boss that I didn’t have the skills to pursue product management, the career track I was hoping for. I walked out of that 1:1 furious. That could have been crushing except for the reframe I decided to take.

I decided to ask myself, “What can I learn from this?”

I vowed to never limit someone’s potential in my mind. I would take seriously the responsibility of managing others. I also committed to double down on building pm skills so that I could accomplish my future goals.

Many years later I am grateful I took that attitude. I’ve been a successful product manager at multiple hyper-growth companies. And now I am often tapped to coach product managers and teach teams how to build products in better ways.

When you face a tough situation at work or in personal relationships, my invitation is to ask, “What can I learn from this?”

About the Author

Ryan Seamons
writes about more human approaches to modern management.

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