The way you interpret things, frame your actions and determine your results.


In 1939 George Dantzig, a doctoral student was late for his advanced mathematics class in Berkeley. He had fallen asleep after studying much of the night before. When he arrived in his classroom, there were two problems left on the blackboard which he copied and assumed it was the take-home final test left by the professor.

When he set out to solve the problems, he found them to be more complex and difficult than other times, but he knew that he had to solve them and turn them in to pass his class. After several days of work and analysis, he solved the problems and handed the papers in at the professor’s office. What he did not know was that those two problems were not the final exam. The professor had given them as examples of mathematical problems that many mathematicians had tried to solve, without success, for decades.

George did not just pass the class, he got the doctorate.

When you interpret something to be complex and difficult, that is what you will find. Language in this sense does not only describe reality but also creates it. If you think the business is going to fail, it probably will. If you think that sales are going to fall this quarter, they probably will. When you interpret that a challenge or a change process can also be fun, then fun it will be.

This is why:

How you interpret things frame and determine your actions (and emotions), and ultimately your results.

Try this exercise, in one word, answer the following questions

  • How is your business doing?
  • What values and beliefs define your business or company?
  • Are you a leader or a manager?
  • What problems are you facing?
  • What are you reaching your sales goals?
  • What are biggest challenges you are having?
  • Is your team aligned, inspired, effective, and working collaboratively?
  • How is your relationship with your boss? How is your relationship with your direct reports? Do you trust them?

Analyze your answers and think about how you have interpreted these questions.  After that pay attention to the results: If you do not like the results, change your perspective, change the way you look at them, change their meaning.

Change the way you are framing vital experiences, reformulate your understanding and meaning, and your results will change. If you need help, send me an email.


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