Reframing Your Discussion

When you’re engaged in a conversation that is heading in a destructive direction, consider
reframing the discussion to get it back on course. Reframing means distilling the essence
of what the other person is saying and translating the unhelpful statements into productive
ones. For example, assume the other person expresses “I’m right and I’m not budging from
my position.” You can reorient this position of certainty by reframing it to share “your
perspective.” You might say something like, “I can see that you feel very strongly about
your perspective and I want to make sure that I understand it. I’d also like to share my
perspective on the situation.”

So what?

By “constructively misunderstanding” a person’s comment, you’ve opened up the
possibility for further dialogue.