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WHY STORIES MATTER in business and in life

   
Storytelling is the new big thing in business, according to the big thinkers at organizations like Harvard Business Review and Forbes magazine"Robert McKee, the world's best-known screenwriting lecturer, argues that executives can engage people in a much deeper--and ultimately more convincing--way if they toss out their PowerPoint slides and memos and learn to tell good stories," writes Bronwyn Fryer in HBR. "As human beings, we make sense
of our experiences through stories. But becoming a good storyteller is hard. It requires imagination and an understanding of what makes a story worth telling."
 What is true in business is true in every area of life. Therapists listen to stories, work to help their clients make meaning out of experience and frame struggle as a pathway to owning and recognizing our own strength. Another Harvard Business Review article, "Storytelling that Moves People" shares the insight that "Stories fulfill a profound human need to grasp the patterns of living—not merely as an intellectual exercise, but within a very personal, emotional experience.”
 

  And through taking in others' stories we gain insight and knowledge about life through their experiences. Storytelling skills have been shown to fine-tune the ability to listen, which is the foundation of successful relationships and of all effective communication. 
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force," writes journalist and writing teacher Brenda Ueland. "The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”

Jude Treder-Wolff LCSW, CGP, MT is a consultant/trainer and writer/performer and President of Lifestage, Inc a training company specializing in creative approaches to professional and personal development. She is host and creator of (mostly) TRUE THINGS, a storytelling show that features true stories - with a twist - told by people from all walks of life, backgrounds and ages.

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