One winter morning last December, P walked into the kitchen asking me when I planned to “start my stuff.”
I had been to the dermatologist earlier that month, and they prescribed a pre-cancer skin treatment that makes your face look hideous for about six weeks. I told him I was thinking about starting it after the Christmas Holiday.
He said, “No, I meant your toast.”
We only have a toaster with two slots right now, so we have to <gasp> take turns making our toast. (I know, buy a bigger toaster, but that’s not the point of today’s message.)
He had one thing on his mind. I had another.
We hear stories based on what is on our minds, how we see the world, or even what we need or want to hear right now.
Stories are told, stories are heard, AND stories are inferred.
What this means for the teller is that you have very little control over how your story is received. My favorite quote from Jane Goodall: “If you get to the heart with a story, you may not know it at the time, but people will go on thinking.”
Our job is to get into the heart with a story. What they think, what they say, and what they do about it is up to them.
The trap we as storytellers can fall into is approaching a story with what’s forefront on our minds and assuming others will pick up on it. We speak from our perspective and don’t think about what’s going on in their worlds. Then we wonder why no one is picking up on what we’re putting down.
Frame of reference is everything.
To get to the heart, we must know what our audience cares about. This is why empathy and understanding are keys to my storytelling workshops and why we do an exercise in listening to understand rather than, as Stephen Covey puts it, listening to reply.
Our attention to others bridges the divide and helps us create more meaningful relationships which is, after all, the point of this storytelling thing. It’s not about the stories; it’s about the power in the relationships you build.
Your Power; Your Story – If you have been craving time away from work, to step back and reflect, connect with like-minded individuals, and reset for 2024, we invite you to retreat with us. During this two-day retreat in relaxing and beautiful Chico Hot Springs, Montana, we will help you find the stories in you and put them out in the world. We intentionally scheduled this for October 7th to 9th, in the autumn, a great time to slow down and prepare for the new year. You can learn more here or comment below with your interest and questions.
Take care out there.
SOME WAYS I MAY BE ABLE TO HELP YOU AND YOUR TEAM:
LEAD YOUR WAY: This mentoring/coaching program is designed to help you step into your leadership and show up as your best self so you can communicate to connect and amplify your impact.
COMMUNICATE TO CONNECT: In my storytelling workshops, I teach leaders of all capabilities how to engage authentically with their teams, community, and stakeholders to create meaningful connections that build trust, increase team engagement and lead to better fundraising and revenue generation.
Did you have something else in mind? Let’s talk and see how I might be able to help. Contact me and we’ll schedule a chat.
Stay in touch.
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