Framing The Pitch

frame 1 frame 2

John was a new foodservice director who took over a floundering operation at a major university. He was hired to turn things around, quickly. When he arrived the first day, he started to have doubts – the department was far worse than he expected. On his second day, there was meeting of all the departments.

One of the directors took a piece of bread that was toasted on one side and totally untoasted on the other. They threw it across the table to John and barked, “What do you have to say about this?” John gave a split second thought, smiled and replied, “Well, it looks like we’re halfway there.” Everyone laughed and the tension broke. They knew they found a winner in their new director

It’s a fact of life we all have to admit – we experience letdowns and challenges in our personal and professional lives.

It’s those situations that will  springboard us to new heights or bound us with the chains of failure and doubt. It’s interesting to see how some people can see the opportunity in their circumstances, and others see the unpleasantness.

Sometimes, we ourselves go back and forth in these emotions. One week we’re riding high and can conquer anything. Then the following week, we’ve hit an emotional low which threatens to derail us.

So how do we overcome those lows and turn them into a great opportunity and inspire others? The same way baseball catchers set up pitches to be called strikes.

It’s called “framing the pitch”.

When a catcher gets that pitch into his glove, he trains himself to instinctively turn the glove inwards towards the plate if it’s just a slight bit outside the strike zone. The goal here is to give the appearance of the outcome of the pitch to be a strike so that the home plate umpire will call it a strike instead of a ball. The action will most likely set up a more favorable response.

Take your last defeat, stress, or crises and frame the result in a way that everyone would end up the better for it. It could be revamping a system, an opportunity to train more, or just adopting a better attitude in order to allow the problem to be a blessing and not a curse. Find a way to be thankful and develop a strength from it.

As you develop this tactic, it becomes more instinctive and you will not allow any defeat to hold you down for very long. In fact, your response will be so powerful that people will naturally gravitate to you in times of crisis because they know your leadership will be uplifting and rock-steady in these times.

“Reframing” is hardly a new concept, but this example will hopefully give you a mental picture that will help you turn a negative event into a positive one.



(image courtesy of

About Paul LaRue

My goal - To encourage you to lead & influence others with positive impact.

Posted on May.7.2014, in Leadership. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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