We are all in the top 20%, and we are all in the bottom 80%. The way we utilize the stages of potential determine where we fall. The stages of potential are thinking, learning, and communicating (TLC).
When we fall into the top 20 we are effective in our TLC. However, when we fall into the bottom 80 we are ineffective in our TLC. Knowing how to see things differently is what sets top 20s apart from bottom 80s.
There are times when we are a top 20 parent, employee, even Christian. However, we all are bottom 80s at times.
So, how can you be a top 20 more often?
It’s all about “The Frame”. How we see something, impacts how we feel about it, which in turn impacts what we do, which ultimately determines what we get.
For example: You are going to your in-laws for the weekend.
Bottom 80s might see this as being a waste of time because there is no way it is going to be a fun weekend. By seeing it this way they automatically move to having negative feelings around the weekend. Therefore, they might act (do) angry, irritable, and just be miserable. Their significant other likely doesn’t appreciate their behavior, nor do the in-laws. Ultimately, they get a crummy weekend and how they saw the situation became what they got.
Now top 20s may acknowledge that the in-laws nag a lot, but instead of focusing on this they move to thinking the weekend is going to be great! My loved one gets to spend time with their family and family is so important to them. Naturally, top 20s begin to feel excited about the weekend. In turn, they are pleasant over the weekend, their significant other appreciates that, which positively impacts the relationship. The top 20s then get more than just a good weekend.
There is power in how we see a situation. In order to change our frame we have to be willing to be curious and be willing to let go of having to be right. The need to be right is important, but more so the fear of being wrong is what drives blame. So, to be a top 20 we have to make a choice between blame and curiosity. Blame because of the need to be right is what puts us in the bottom 80. Being curious because we want to be effective is what leads to being a top 20.
Changing our frame isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Remember you cannot change anyone else’s frame, but you can change your own. Be willing to take a step back and see how your frame is impacting how you see the situation.
Kayla is completing her Masters of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN after obtaining her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Winona State University. Kayla’s professional experience has included personal growth counseling with college students, inpatient counseling with adolescents, as well as adult clients. As an intern, Kayla uses a framework of cognitive behavioral therapy, Gestalt therapy, and family systems.