work journal

Trabian Shorters’ “Asset-Framing”

February 20, 2022

Trabian Shorters’ training on “Asset-Framing” was the only webinar I've ever attended where I really wish I'd given a standing ovation.

I took the training in 2021 through the Solutions Journalism Network, and have applied this simple tool that Shorters created to every part of my work since, from storycraft and strategy to facilitation and coaching.

Based in cognitive science, Asset-Framing is a practical framework for productive conversation in any part of life, and an imperative tool for empathetic communication in the 21st century.

It's not about changing what you say, rather, the order in which you say it.

Shorters, a thought leader, social entrepreneur and retired tech entrepreneur, originally designed Asset-Framing lift up Black communities. To humanize instead of stigmatize by first framing someone’s accomplishments and aspirations before addressing their challenges and hardships.

How it works: Because our limbic systems are wired for stories, the first one we hear becomes the lens through which we consider all others.

Want to learn more? Check out Krista Tippett’s beautiful conversation with him on her podcast, On Being.

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