I’m Grandpa’s favourite. At least, that’s what they say…
The Cancer is taking from his strength every day. And yet, he bends over backwards for me. Every so often, he makes the long, cold hike to my home. He uses a cane as a walking aide.
A loud rattle at my bedroom window wakes me from my sleep.
Being a night-owl, my reversed sleeping hours are unusual. The front-door is on one end of my home and my bedroom all the way on the other. It’s hard to hear anything this far.
So he comes around to the back. I wake up to his knocking on the window and greet him through the bars. I inquire about his health.
He responds that he missed me.
I invite him inside.
He walks around to the front of the house on the walking stick I got him on my last visit to the USA. Once, he admitted to me that he found the cane I got him to be easier on his hands than the one his son did a few weeks before.
As I see him approach from the corner of the house, I move toward him to embrace him and kiss his cheeks. He smiles. I offer him coffee and cake.
He rarely eats.
Food served by me is an exception he makes. The old man is wrinkled skin and bone–A shadow of his former self.
Amongst the old-timers, they reminisce about his legendary strength. At weddings, a group of them sit around a table talking about the good old days. When you hear them speak, you’d think that there wasn’t a boy he’d not beaten or a fight he’d not won. Elderly women talk of his rugged good looks and remember his dancing, crystal-blue eyes.
I’ve often thought about how I describe my grandfather and how I’d remember him when he’s gone. The painting I’ve drawn here is one example. But my father would say that it’s biased and untrue. He sees his father very differently than I do.
Neither of us is wrong. Our descriptions differ because of something called Re-Framing.
Re-Framing is a way to alter the appearance of information or experiences by changing their context. When you re-frame information, you can help another person experience their actions or view their beliefs from a different perspective.
For example, when a prospect doesn’t show up to a meeting with you and your sponsor, you might say to your sponsor, “Oh no! She’s bailing on me. She doesn’t want to hear our presentation.”
But your sponsor may reply, “What if she had an accident on the way here?”
Although, in both cases, the information doesn’t change (prospect not here), the way your brain views it will cause you to react differently:
On one hand, you might write an angry text message, “You wasted my time! I waited for you and you didn’t have the courtesy to call and cancel!”
And on the other hand, you would make a concerned phone call, “Hello, Claire? Is everything alright?”
How I described my grandfather to you is based on my own experiences with him–as his favourite grandson. Surely, someone else could make him seem frail, old, and annoying.
A relatively new field in Psychology called Neuro-Linguistic Programming (or NLP for short) uses framing and reframing as a way to “program” people’s minds to let go of bad habits or acquire new habits. NLP has recently found many important applications in sales and marketing. Because, it’s nothing more than a way to communicate more effectively.
Smart marketers use re-framing to ignite the desired emotion or belief in their customer. They can make you feel excited about clicking their link, opting in to their marketing funnel, or buying their solution.
A dirty secret of marketing is that you can take the very same information, package it up with two or more frames, and then sell it to the SAME people. And they’ll buy one of each.
- Mark Joyner in Mind Control Marketing uses the frame: “Military mind control techniques scary as hell like Hitler used on the Nazi.”
- Joe Vitale in Hypnotic Writing uses the frame: “How to write in a way so compelling of buying behaviour that it’s like hypnosis.”
- Frank Kern in Mass Control uses the frame: “Techniques to help you control the masses and influence mass buying behaviour.”
Since the dawn of time, what works in marketing has remained unchanged. The major contribution and success of an author is simply how they deliver their information. You’ll see these examples in every ad, in every religion, in every best-selling story, and in every blockbuster movie. It’s a means we communicate by. It’s how we motivate, affect, and challenge each others’ beliefs.
Did you, by any chance, pick a favourite frame from the above three examples? I know I did 😉
Framing and Re-Framing are important marketing concepts. I use them all the time…Including how I described my grandfather to you earlier. I wanted you to feel a certain way about him…the same way I do, because I adore the man…
In my sun room, he only stays a few minutes. He puffs tobacco with shaking arthritic fingers. Conversation is dry. But I sit with him because I know that means the world.
When he leaves, the aroma of his imported tobacco lingers behind him. His half-drank, overly sweetened coffee sits on the table steaming slightly by the chair he occupied moments before.
I’m fond of him. He’s child-like in his innocence. So sensitive and easily made to cry.
I’ll never forget a few months ago when my father sent me to tell him the bad news. Grand Dad’s sister passed away. I arrived at his door and he opened after my first knock. He held me tight at the door before I could say a word. I assumed the news must have reached him already.
But it hadn’t.
When he learned that she died the previous night he cried and cried. He had a rough life working in his grandfather’s farms. He was orphaned young and his sister was the only mother-figure he had.
My father knows him differently, though. Maybe it’s because to him, Grand Dad is the ruthless man who beat him viciously every day when he was a child. And such is his love for his father, that he still strives for his approval even today.
It’s useless. Grand Dad will never tell him he’s proud.
When my father offers him a cup of coffee, Grand Dad gets mad.
And, now, my father hates the cigarette stink Grand Dad leaves behind.