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It's not always what you say that counts, but how you communicate it

Photo by Quino Al / Unsplash

It's not always what you say (content) that counts, but how you communicate it.

And how you communicate it determines how strong your frame is.

As you've probably experienced in your professional and personal life, the person with the stronger frame in any interaction almost always wins.

"Frame" could mean leveraging (but is not limited to):

1. Greater physical presence (taller and/or brawnier)

2. Louder (and/or shriller) voice

3. Better articulating your perspective

4. Having a more fully formed, nuanced internal point-of-view

5. Various combinations of the above

(As you can see, communication and the consequent frame it produces isn't always through verbal channels)

However, some of the strongest frames I've seen come from those who know their position, can elicit the other side's - and (if necessary) lean into the possibility of disagreement... even if conflict is something they normally shy away from in other areas of their life.

I've observed though, that the most effective frames (notice I said effective, not strongest) are often held by those who can do all of the above - yet they also have the flexibility to adjust their perspective when they encounter a different point-of-view.

By not being welded to any one particular point-of-view, these people can make more (and faster) progress in their professional and personal lives.


Because they can more frequently resolve (and move forward from) situations that otherwise turn into dead stops that sap forward momentum.

(Remember as a kid on the playground how much it hurt when you ran with pebbles in your shoes?)

Those who either run into roadblocks less frequently or can resolve them quicker can go on to take more meaningful actions (such as big projects) that allow them to accumulate wins on the scoreboard more quickly.


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