What can we learn when we get curious about our stories?Feb 22, 2022
As a leader, facilitator, process improvement manager, host of group meetings -- even as a colleague, friend or partner -- stories and storytelling are some of the most powerful partners you can have on your team.
During the first session of "BEYOND FACILITATION: Secrets of Extraordinary Hosting" last week, I presented the Four Fold Practice, a map from the Art of Hosting Community that presents a powerful foundation for any practitioner.
HOST YOURSELF talks about the ME space. My personal, internal focus. BE HOSTED points to the importance of being a participant and practicing your focus. HOST OTHERS puts the emphasis on using our skills to create spaces for conversations that matter to become wise action. And BE PART OF A HOSTING COMMUNITY is part of the WE space -- how do we sharpen our skills and hone our focus together?
Then I wrapped story around it, because story is the glue. It is how we communicate, understand, connect, dream, and what causes us to take action. I want to point to the blue arrows in this marvellous visual capture of this model by Viola Clark.
Between TEND YOURSELF & YOUR STORIES and LISTEN TO OTHERS & SHARE YOUR STORIES is a field of inquiry with this question:
"What can we learn when we get curious about our stories?"
Can we become curious when we get triggered? What do we see when we focus on our habitual stories? This focus helps us open more to others.
Between LISTEN TO OTHERS & SHARE YOUR STORIES and MAKE SPACES TO HOST STORIES THAT MATTER lies the question:
"What happens when we pay attention to stories asking for attention?"
Where is the discomfort? What are we trying to problem solve that actually calls for a shift of perception? What dominant stories make the culture great for some and toxic for others? These stories help us to pinpoint the conversations that really matter and to have the determination and heart to be in them.
Between MAKE SPACES TO HOST STORIES THAT MATTER and BE PART OF A STORIED COMMUNITY lies the question:
"What can our stories teach us about our practice together?"
If we have the courage to lean into the discomfort and be with the conversation underneath the surface issue, it will take us to the place where we need to extend or expand our perceptions and our practice. We are called to account and called back into learning with others.
And then we are called to integrate everything once again into personal practice with the question:
"What can our practice show us about the stories we need to nurture?"
This work is a virtuous upward spiral. And it is so much more rewarding when we walk it together! What do you see when you consider these questions?
Isn't it time to have a brilliant ally on your side?
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