Getting clear on your significant storiesJul 26, 2022
Have you ever stepped inside an elevator with others from a group or conference and found you needed to introduce yourself? What about that moment as your speech begins and the person introducing you has read out your professional bio, but you want to make a real connection to the audience?
We're all faced with those moments when the story we tell is important. In fact Amy Lenzo and I think there are five SIGNIFICANT STORIES you need to be able to tell to meet your call in work and life.
This is about more than personal branding or positioning. Stories are what create understanding between us, give us an insight into another person, start to establish a basis of trust.
I remember once sitting in a room where a number of interns on the Washington/Ireland program, led by Paul Costello, were telling their stories. These were bright young people who'd been given an opportunity to step out of "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland to experience a different perspective on life.
We went down the row listening to story after story as they engaged us with their experiences and held us with their eyes and physical presence. Finally, we got to one young man who sat hunched over, his legs crossed and stretched out before him, staring at the floor.
He told of an experience as a clerk in a government department, working with a group from "the other side." There, sitting in front of him, was a family who'd lost the husband/father/main breadwinner through a bomb blast. He spoke in a soft voice and a low tone, and yet we could touch the pain in him from not being able to mend this break in their family.
A woman next to me turned to me in the end and said: "I don't understand it! I've studied good storytelling performance and he did nothing like that. Why was I so mesmerized?"
I remember looking at her confused face and saying that good storytelling has very little to do with performance, although that can help you convey your message. It has everything to do with finding and conveying the essence of yourself and your experience in a compelling way.
When you can do that, you help people to meet you on your own terms and in a deeper way.
There are so many stories swirling around out there and it can be easy to feel lost. That makes returning to and establishing your own inner ground even more important.
"This is who I am" is the first of the 5 SIGNIFICANT STORIES we'll work with in our new online program starting on September 7.
Isn't it time to have a brilliant ally on your side?
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