At ACRL/Harvard we focused on looking at things through 4 frames: Structural, Human Resources, Political, and Symbolic (vision). We took a quick test to see where we are, and I landed fairly even in three and low in political (gee whiz - no surprise there). But more than just learning where I come from, I learned a new way to break down situations and work relationships. We want to be balanced in the 4 frames since every situation has different parts, however we should recognize that most of us instinctively turn to one of the frames. For me, it's human resources followed closely by symbolic. So, what do you do in situations that have relationships and/or situations that are strong in another frame (especially say - your weakest one)? Not sure...when I figure that one out, I'll have managed to dramatically reduce my work stress. And I'll chuck it all and go on the lecture circuit.
But more than looking at where people come from, looking at situations through the lens of these 4 frames provides a tremendous amount of insight. Sure, there are dozens of these types of frameworks out there, and I'm sure many of them are just a good, but the point is having a structured way of approaching situations. I habitually try to look at all the different angles of a situation but I miss some, and more than that - I have a tough time putting them together in a way that leads me to a better decision. Well - this way is providing a lot more help. It isn't necessarily making any of my decisions or actions easier, but I feel more clear and confident about them. By analyzing the situation and the people involved from 4 different perspectives (and forcing yourself to put the elements within the frames) helps to see things clearer and hopefully choose an action plan. It also helps us know how to sell an idea - if you know where someone is coming from, you hit on the elements in that frame, and bam! it resonates for them. I have always had a tough time selling to people who operated very strongly from a political frame - well now I hope to have better luck.
The book we used as the base is Reframing Organizations by Bolman and Deal. I definitely recommend it, it was an easy read and has some real insight with plenty of common sense applicability (however, it really started to click in the class, halfway through the week).