Competing frames taking effect

In Framing our constituencies, I proposed a way to revise how we frame the process of change and those getting changed. We are responsible for how we see things and act accordingly. It makes sense to give top priority to changing our own outlooks, understanding and basis for taking action.

Once we grasp how we already are in a position to change our approach, we can consider more of the total picture. If we begin with changing others before ourselves, we maintain the problem -- unaware of how we do this. By changing ourselves first, we dismantle our contribution to the problem's underlying dynamics.

Besides the framing of constituencies that we can do and change, there are at least three other frames taking effect and competing with our own:

Constituencies get framed by membership in groups and collusion with like-minded individuals. We get framed by how we are required to comply, expected to act, rewarded for conformity and penalized for deviance. We learn from our shared experiences of getting into trouble and staying out of trouble. We hide inside our comfort zone, role congruence and group identity.

Constituencies get framed by opposing agendas and chronic conflicts with others. Starting with our getting socialized and disciplined as kids, we find out how we're understood by others to really be deviant, defective or deficient according to their standards. We get told to stop thinking, feeling or doing what we were inclined to do. We start living under the impression of what works to minimize these conflicts and get others' approval. We also live inside a story of how far we can push things, antagonize others and provoke retaliation without destroying the system.

Constituencies get framed by successful experiences with growing, changing, learning and creating. We find out how to grow up and to outgrow our past. We realize we can make more sense than people around us. This inclines us to follow our internal process of reflecting or application of taxonomies to change what makes the most sense to do. We discover how to reliably get results, meet objectives and accomplish intentions. We develop momentum, conviction and determination that eliminates failing, losing out or doing the wrong thing.

When we effectively frame our constituencies and the process of change, we are competing with these other frames. We can get nowhere showing respect to someone who has internalized a boatload of disrespect. We can help others be more effective in a way that appears self defeating to their predetermined success patterns. We can reconfigure ourselves to "be the change" and "lead by example" and watch everyone else "be a contrary change" and "lead in the different direction".

For our own framing of our constituencies to win out over their competing frames, we need for those other frames to be "no problem". We can disappear the evidence of a problem and "win without a battle". . To get there I'm proposing a change model as follows:

  • First ignore the competing frames to focus on changing ourselves
  • Second take stock of the competing frames as I've done here
  • Third change how the competing frames appear from problem to no problem
  • Fourth let the competing frames disappear as they appear to be no problem

(to be continued)

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