Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Improvisation Games & Exercises For Developing Emotional Intelligence

Since September Lifestage has been offering a monthly training workshop exploring the use of improvisation to develop Emotional Intelligence. These workshops have been geared toward the work done by clinicians, educators and trainers who guide the process of personal change or professional development, but as it turns out we have enjoyed some interesting diversity among the participants -  managers, business owners with both employees and customers, community activists, and performers. 
    Below is a collection of the exercises we have used in the workshops, accompanied by some studies that supports their use. 


Why Improvisation?
Improvisation is a powerful way to become aware of mental habits and patterns. Reflecting on our inner experiences after engaging in an improvisation exercise provides an opportunity to decide whether our mental habits are effective and useful or self-limiting and obsolete. The tensions of the creative process and this kind of interpersonal interaction are a fa…

WARM-UP EXERCISES FOR GROUP WORK - For Therapeutic, Educational or Training Groups

Nicholas Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP, Director of Training at Lifestage, Inc and Jude Treder-Wolff, LCSW, RMT, CGP, Trainer/consultant and writer/performer. Follow on twitter @JuTrWolff


   “To begin assembly one must have the right attitude,” goes a Japanese instruction for assembling a particular object, as quoted in Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. The "right attitude" is one that best serves the action we are preparing to engage in, just as an athlete warms up his/her muscles before using them in the stress of a work-out or game. Psychological and emotional "muscles" that are properly warmed up will perform more effectively and make it less likely that we will experience strain or allow fear to produce a shut-out when things get rolling.
    The right warm-up makes everything learned in a training situation or classroom more accessible and immediately useful to the trainee/student. New skills and knowledge - in education, personal growth or a professional train…

Social-Emotional Learning Through Applied Improvisation - workshop handout

How improvisation strengthens social-emotional skills
The games and exercises used in Applied Improvisation emphasize positive emotional connections among people in a group and provide guided structures that strengthen specific communication and interpersonal skills. Like psychodrama, such creative/experiential methods integrate the emotional, cognitive, social, and imaginative dimensions of experience and are the most direct approach to developing social-emotional competencies. At the same time, they can be used to communicate about and explore data and content in ways that deepen learning. 
The rules and structures of improv games are designed to promote a space of mutual support within which a degree of creative risk can be taken. They are deceptively sophisticated in terms of their power to shift participants out of self-protective mode into a creative mindset. Skills and information learned in this kind of positive emotional atmosphere are more likely to be available when under st…