“Reframe-Gaming” is the alternative – the “antidote” in TED* language – to “Blame-Gaming” (as described in the last post).  This game takes place in The Empowerment Dynamic (TED*) and involves the roles of Creator, Challenger and Coach.

The reframe game is cued because of the presence of the blame game and the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) and its roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer.  Rather than buying in (remember, the only way to win is not to play), invite the player(s) to join you in reframing.

To “call” the game requires that you consciously adopt the Creator role and – here’s the challenging part – TO SEE THE OTHER PLAYER(S) AS A CREATOR – whether they know it or not or are acting like it or not!  Then you start the game by stepping into either the role of Coach or Challenger (or both, in the course of the game).

As a Coach, ask the other player(s) questions such as: “What is it that you really want?  What is the dream or desire that is being denied or thwarted?  What is the commitment behind your complaint?  If you could rid yourself of “them” (even though the reality is that you can’t), what would that make possible for you that you perceive you can’t currently experience?”  (Be prepared for lots of hemming and hawing and blank looks at first!)

If they are able to answer such questions, then – still as Coach – ask them how they might begin moving in the direction of what it is that they really want that doesn’t require blaming others.

You might also have to adopt the role of Challenger.  A conscious constructive Challenger provokes or evokes action out of an intention of sparking learning (not from an intention to be right or to look good).  You might say something like: “Put yourself in the shoes of those you blame.  How would they speak of the situation?  What is it that they are wanting/desiring to create?”  Another might be to offer to set up a time to have coffee or a beer or to take a walk with someone who represents – or is – the object of their blame.  In that meeting, inquire into the hopes and dreams of both of them – you may be surprised by the common ground that is discovered.

BTW, one of my favorite movie scenes (and real life) examples of a Challenger is late in the movie “Gandhi” in which the Mahatma is fasting because of rioting and fighting between Hindus and Muslims.  A distrught Hindu man comes before him to confess that he has killed a Muslim child.  Gandhi’s challenge to the man was to find a Muslim child who was orphaned by the fighting and adopt him – and to raise him as a Muslim.  THAT is being a Challenger and engaging in “Reframe-Gaming!”

Please accept the invitation to join in the game of reframing – and share how it goes for you!