Storytelling is a great way to prompt introspection without putting people on the defensive. Do you ever wonder “What were you thinking?” or worse, “How does you sleep at night?” I do. Yet, any effort to “MAKE” someone think about his/her actions only pushes them away. If you really want them to back up and reconsider the effect they are having on the world, the best way I know is to tell a story that might prompt, in the privacy of their own mind, an internal dialogue that could produce a change of heart without ever having to admit they did something wrong. In most cases a “values in action” story can do the trick. [Read more…]
Share an experience via story about that person that brings him/her alive with detail. Your story of admiration and gratitude towards someone who embodies the qualities, skills, vision, or values you want to share, it demonstrates humility and gratitude. Humility and gratitude are vital in good leadership and are the essence of personal dignity. Your story provides clues for listeners to interpret – they may begin to associate that person’s qualities with your own. The only danger is if you push the association. Tell the story from a place of admiration and a light touch. There is nothing worse than telling a story about a character like Nelson Mandela in order to send the message that you and Nelson Mandela are just alike. You aren’t and it just turns people off. [Read more…]
When you hunt for a story, focus on the concept you need to illustrate and ask someone to help you come up with ideas. Once you have found one watch or read the scene again closely, pull out descriptions that set the scene in context for people who are not familiar with the big story. And tell it with sensory details (George Clooney in drag) that conjure strong images. Choosing a well-known book or movie takes advantage of all the hard work the author or director did stimulating senses and capturing attention. Make the story yours by adapting the format and style, including the details of how you came across this story, or by elaborating on what this story has meant to you and why you are sharing it. [Read more…]
Trust is lost when you treat someone fairly by your standards, yet unfairly by their standards. This doesn’t have to happen!! There are many completely valid definitions of fair: everyone shares equally…whoever works harder gets more…the rainmakers get the most (even if it doesn’t look like they work hard)…hey, the neediest get first dibs…none of which translates to the same distribution of resources . People think “fair” is obvious, but we need share stories that demonstrate what fair means to each person, so we can come up with a common definition of fair that avoids misunderstanding and protects mutual trust.
Tell a story so real, your interviewer can’t help but retell it to decision makers. Deliver a vicarious experience of you – standing strong in a tough situation. THEN…ask your interviewer, “Tell me more about the job.” You are likely to get a story back – with lots of juicy details to address specifically. Good luck and I hope you land that job!