Chapter 33. It Pays to Get People in the Right Frame of Mind

An executive walks into a meeting and says, “The goal of this meeting is to finalize details and sign off on our plan. The meeting will have a ‘hard finish’ at two o’clock.” Those two sentences quickly and efficiently focus the minds of all present, setting a frame for what needs to happen. The goals are tangible, and participants gain a shared sense of urgency and readiness. By the time the meeting ends, 5 minutes ahead of schedule, the plan is honed and ready to go.

“Framing” is the art of establishing clear direction or meaning. Whether you are giving a speech, making a request, or putting forward an argument, carefully chosen words can generate a context, or “frame,” that highlights ...

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