Friday, May 27, 2011

Can You Tell Me Your Stories?

Do you like telling stories? What are your stories? Everywhere I go, people are talking about telling stories.

If you tell stories, you will present yourself more authentically.
  • And if you present yourself more authentically, your message will have greater resonance.
  • And, with greater resonance, more people will respond to what you have to say.
This emphasis on stories marks a major change in how people are encouraged to communicate.

Up until recently, both in corporations and in classrooms, the usual response to stories was "Get to the point. Why are you telling me a story?" Stories were thought of as something that people told for entertainment or to amuse children...or for legal testimony. They weren't appropriate for business....

What's changed?

We live in a fishbowl. In between Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter--and all the rest--people now are compelled to present their more human sides. I can't just describe myself as an MBA and a former university writing instructor. That description has no color. When I go to Facebook, I'm asked questions about which books I like and what music, my life philosophy, and so forth and so on.... My picture on Facebook looks a little different, a little less business-like than the one that I have on LinkedIn.

The line between our professional lives and our personal lives is blurring rapidly and soon may not exist at all. Is this good or bad? Making any value judgment about this change is irrelevant: it's just the way it is.

Can you tell me your stories? I'll tell you some of mine in my next blog entry.