Somehow as grownups we lose sight of the power of story to positively transform rather than simply to entertain. A personal anecdote can connect us across cultural difference, a cautionary tale can alert us to danger, a visionary story can inspire a team to action. Each is far more influential than a dry and dusty policy manual on the manager’s shelf.
Stories can reinforce old thinking or generate new possibilities. Just as we heard bedtime stories of the big bad wolf, age-old adversaries tell stories of how bad The Others really are. Retelling the grievances keeps the past alive. So what if the story was changed? What if we told each other stories to inspire, encourage, sustain and grow?
The story can be as simple as two lines – it doesn’t have to be a novel. There are no guarantees of happy-ever-after, but certainly we have a better chance of understanding and appreciating each other, and learning about how we each deal with life.
· What stories have you been telling that keep you in the same old space?
· How could you change them so they serve you better?
· What story could you tell to help others understand you better?
· How could a culture of storytelling transform your workplace? Your family?
Supporting diverse, inclusive workplaces