Harnessing the power of listening for collective intelligence

collective story harvest collective wisdom life stories Apr 08, 2022

How often have you heard people bemoan the obvious potential that lies within a person, group or system that seems stagnant or stuck? Often those with the most potential find it easy to coach and support others, but seem blind to their own gifts and talents.

Yikes! That statement feels too close to home! But here's where story comes in.

Collective Story Harvest is a simple, yet powerful method for finding the gold in lived experience and making it available as collective intelligence, and even collective wisdom. It harnesses our human superpowers of storytelling and listening and makes them into a team dedicated to your success.

In my last post I talked about the the three aspects of this method -- story, harvest and collective. I said that lived experience is a rich vein we can mine together that both nourishes us and makes us collectively wiser. And I mentioned that when we listen for a purpose, when we make sense and meaning together, when we know all of us have something significant to contribute, we make the most of the field nature of groups.

Each part of Collective Story Harvest represents a strategic decision. Let's take a look at those:

WHY? What is the overall purpose? What do you hope to achieve by working with this story? For example, I worked with an organization that had a wide geographical spread. It was easy for people to become very committed to their own team, but very distant from the overall organization. The senior leader wanted to bring everyone into the same story.

WHAT? What story/stories serve the purpose? Is it one story we need to hear or more than one? How will they be told?

WHO? Who should tell the story and who should listen? If it is a very complex story, do we need to hear different perspectives? Perhaps there are complementary, competing or even conflicting stories that all need airing. Whose voices need to share these stories? Choosing the listeners is also a strategic choice. Perhaps we want the rest of the organization to know about a project that is very successful but not high profile. Inviting listeners from across the organzisation brings a new perspective to the story, but also spreads it. 

WHEN? When is the right moment? Perhaps people are gathering for an event and that means a unique group comes together. Perhaps a project team needs to stop for a moment and review its story so it can move forward with energy. Perhaps a senior leader is moving on and this is the appropriate time to get a fresh view of what leadership is really about.

HOW? All prior choices help to indicate how the method might be use.  Is this an opportunity for a group to listen to one or more stories together, or is this a time when multiple stories can be offered as a basis for collective learning?

As all of us can see, the amount of chaos and unforeseen events is going to continue. That makes it even more important to learn from the lived experience that lies within us and use it to help us move forward with courage, conviction and connection.


Is it time for a change in your life? This offer is only for a select few.

Join IGNITE Mastermind and work with Mary Alice and a select group applying Collective Story Harvest to your own life and work to fire up your internal personal power and accelerate your external success. If you’d like to become accredited in the Collective Story Harvest Method, join IGNITE Practitioner.

Learn more about IGNITE: www.getsoaring.com/IGNITE

Isn't it time to have a brilliant ally on your side?

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