The Story Factor

41a5iTSFDGLWhat’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

“From the beginning of history, human life and leadership have been centered on stories—the stories of our past, who we are today, and what we may yet become. Telling stories and listening to other people’s stories shapes the meaning of our experiences and helps us awaken hidden capacity. The Story Factor provides valuable tools for using storytelling as a means for self-discovery and as a springboard for creating a more meaningful and successful future. This is vital new reading.”
Robert K. Cooper, Ph.D., author of Executive EQ: Emotional Intelligence in Leadership & Organizations

“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’ writing has a fairytale quality of generosity that magically reintroduces us to wisdom we already have.”
Cheryl De Ciantis, Artist-in-Residence, Center for Creative Leadership

In these times of diminishing faith and waning optimism, we need to learn more about the power of story. This wonderful book—written from the heart to the hearts, minds, souls and locked up memories of readers—will unleash your capacity to be more effective in whatever your line of work. Everyone who cares about positive change at an individual, organizational or global level should experience The Story Factor.”
Gail C. Christopher, Executive Director, Innovations in American Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University