What’s your story? Who are you? Where do you come from? When you seek to influence others you face these questions and more. Whether you’re proposing a risky new venture, trying to close a deal, or leading a charge against injustice, you have a story to tell. Tell your story well and you will create a shared experience with your listeners that can have profound and lasting results.
“the oldest tool of influence is also the most powerful—through the words, gestures, tone, and rhythm of story you can captivate an audience of skeptical, resistant, nay-sayers…”In The Story Factor, Annette Simmons reminds us that the oldest tool of influence is also the most powerful—through the words, gestures, tone, and rhythm of story you can captivate an audience of skeptical, resistant, nay-sayers and simultaneously construct a believable picture for your ideas and goals. In this hyper-competitive, techno-centric, and results-oriented environment it is easy to forget that all organizations are social systems and that work is personal—learning to tap into the personal element through story gives you a key to the social system. Alignment improves, problems get solved, group decisions are easier to make, and trust develops in ways and in places you might never thought possible.
Over one hundred stories drawn from the front lines of business and government, as well as myths, fables, and parables from around the world, illustrate how story can be used to persuade, motivate, and inspire in ways that cold facts, bullet points, and directives can’t. These stories, combined with practical storytelling techniques show anyone how to become a more effective communicator. From “who I am” to “I-know-what-you’re thinking,” Simmons identifies the six stories you need to know how to tell and demonstrates how they can be applied.
As master storyteller Doug Lipman notes in the foreword, Annette Simmons articulates “the emerging realization in the business community that thriving organizations need whole persons working for them – that anything less cheats both the individual and the firm.” Let The Story Factor be your inspiration for transforming your relationships with colleagues, bosses, employees, customers, and even adversaries so that each story you are living right now – work, personal, and community – becomes the kind of success story you will enjoy telling for years to come.
Recently named one of “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time,” The Story Factor explores hundreds of examples that show when, where, how, and why story transforms relationships.
“The Story Factor is full of entertaining and useful stories to enhance our ability to communicate effectively. It will be very useful to teachers and managers alike.”
Edgar E. Schein, Sloan Fellows Professor of Management, Emeritus, and Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management
“As the author herself notes, you can’t make someone listen; you can only entice, inspire, cajole, stimulate or fascinate. Stories do that; so does this book. It’s a pleasure to dive into and an extremely useful tool for the would-be influencer or change builder.”
Art Kleiner, author of Schools That Learn and The Age of Heretics
“Annette Simmons was my guiding star when I was looking for a way to work with stories. The Story Factor paved the way for me to do rewarding work building communities and broadening education. With this third edition Annette proves once again that her knowledge and insights are alive and more relevant than ever.”
Peter Frühmann, Founder of Storybag.nl
“The Story Factor remains required reading for anyone working at the intersection of communication and culture. For better or worse, the future requires storytellers willing to imagine what is truly good for humans and wield their power thoughtfully. I’m grateful that Annette’s wonderful book is confronting the ethical aspects of the stories we tell. I hope that many will pick it up and do the same!”
Zack Bryant, Creative Director, Journey Group
“After 20 years of reading every book written on storytelling, the Story Factor still stands out as the most comprehensive, the most inspiring and the most useful of any book I’ve found. This new release includes a much-needed deep dive into the morals and responsibilities of storytelling. The Story Factor is not only a book you need, it’s a book that the world desperately needs.”
Lisa Bloom, Founder, Story Coach
“Simmons beautifully captures the role stories play in solving human problems. Her invitation to expand our circle of moral concern through storytelling gives hope for restoring our social fabric in divided times.”
Jesse Scinto, Lecturer and Fulbright U.S. Scholar, MS Programs in Strategic Communication, Columbia University
“We in the story listening/story sharing business have many sages, many authorities, many folks that give us new and effective ways to stir the pot of story into something delicious, but we have only one encyclopedia of story, her name is Annette Simmons.”
Joe Lambert, Chief Listener and Convener, StoryCenter
“Nearly two decades ago, Annette Simmons sent a shockwave through the world of leadership thinking with a curious proposition: That by telling stories, a leader might exercise deep influence. She’s back, surveying the industry that has grown from her groundwork, and her message in this updated edition is more fierce and more urgent than ever before: As weavers of narratives, ours is a deeply moral calling that carries great responsibility. Simmons’ voice is more essential, prophetic, and convicting than ever. Her message demands our attention.”
David Hutchens, Leadership Storytelling
“Re-reading my dog-eared, marked-up copy of The Story Factor makes me nod my head in both agreement and epiphany. In this new edition, she holds supreme as our most important thinker in applied narrative. ”
Thaler Pekar, Thaler Pekar & Partners
“Twenty years ago when it was first published, this book became an instant classic and spotlighted Annette Simmons as one of the pioneers of organizational storytelling. Now she updates and expands her foundational work, offering us a strong voice on behalf of staying awake to both the power and the pitfalls of story work. In this time of competing and conflicting narratives, where the future of our world hangs in the balance, The Story Factor continues to chart a path for everyone who seeks to influence with integrity.”
Mary Alice Arthur, Story Activist and co-founder of Story the Future
“Once again internationally recognized genius in business storytelling, Annette Simmons, captivates us with her writing, her wisdom, and her deep understanding of the human spirit. She takes us on a journey about the critical importance of storytelling and how to do it filled with sage advice, wonderful stories, and practical how-to. If you want to be a better leader or manager, with better business results, follow Annette’s wisdom. You’ll be glad you did.”
Dr. Karen Dietz, co-author Business Storytelling for Dummies