Golbourne might be considered an unlikely place for extraordinary connection to happen between human beings. And yet that is what happened last Tuesday.
I had been invited to present a workshop to the local Association for Coaching group. Truth be told, I was a little nervous. I imagined the room full of high-flying professional coaches, armed with psychotherapy qualifications and executive coaching backgrounds. Would they think that Storytelling was just for kids?
I opened the workshop with “What does Story mean to you?”. Such interesting answers came thick and fast! The range of human emotion was there – “power through fun”, “joyful isolation”, “connection”, “fantasy”, “a time to reflect”. Interestingly, one person said “boredom” because he had missed out on “proper tales for boys” as a child, and hadn’t had his imagination captured.
We need stories around us and with us always; our imagination is still there inside us, longing to get out. And a very useful tool it can be too, its adult expression being Creativity, New Connections and thus Innovation and Adaptability.
Then I spoke about the first storytellers in my life. Many nods of recognition. I talked about how stories are used in organisations today. We explored story-gathering … and one coach gave me a brilliant new phrase “Story Building”.
So we built a story together, using the Spine Story technique. Classic story structure really - Balance, Unbalance, Quest for Resolution and New Balance.
And isn’t that really how the story of our lives goes?
Stories can help us make sense of all that is going on in our lives, in its daily detail and in the wider world. And we need this, as we become aware of human lives, tragedies, hopes, struggles and triumphs on a truly global scale.
Annette Simmons (author of “Who Tells the Best Story Wins”) says “Information simply leaves us feeling incompetent and lost … we need a story to help us make sense and to see where we fit in.”
However, we need to be careful what stories we are telling ourselves and each other on a daily basis. Leaders need to recognise the "Upward Spiral" story, the Vision Story, or the "Downward Spiral" story. And we really do tell stories every day, even at work. You may not recognise this, but think about it. There are stories being told by leaders, stories by management and all the way down to the support staff. What is the lady who hands you your cup of tea in the canteen telling you, or the person who comes to clean your office, what's their story of the place? The point is, are these stories resonant and convergent. Or are they competing and dissonant?
What lies at the heart of the stories in your organisation?
Power of Stories™ events help you to discover and build stories for your organisation, to develop better communication and highly motivated teams.
NEW Power of Stories Event!
Coming in September, Through the Looking Glass, a one-day workshop on Storytelling Skills for Coaches. Express your interest and reserve your place soon, as there are limited places.