02 Jun What is YOUR story?
Last week, I wrote about why it’s important to get people motivated by YOUR STORY. So, what is YOUR story? Essentially, your story expresses how and why life changes to those who hear it. It begins with a situation in which life is relatively in balance. One minute, everything’s fine, but then there’s an event that throws life out of balance. Your story should describe what it’s like to deal with opposing forces, motivating people to dig deeper, work with scarce resources, make difficult decisions, take action despite risks, and ultimately discover the truth you’re leading them to. All great storytellers deal with the fundamental conflict between expectation and reality.
Stories have been implanted in you thousands of times since you were a kid. It’s how we are programmed to learn. You’ve read good books, seen movies, attended plays. What’s more, human beings naturally want to work through stories. Cognitive psychologists describe how the human mind, in its attempt to understand and remember, assembles the bits and pieces of experience into a story, beginning with a personal desire, a life objective, and then portraying the struggle against the forces that block that desire. Stories are how we remember; we tend to forget lists and bullet points.
So how does a business leader become a great story teller? Businesspeople not only have to understand their companies’ past, but then they must project the future. And how do you imagine the future? Using a story. You create scenarios in your head of possible future events to try to anticipate the life of your company or your own personal life. So, if a businessperson understands that his or her own mind naturally wants to frame experience in a story, the key to moving an audience is not to resist this impulse but to embrace it by telling a good story.
So, what is YOUR story? Unity can help shape yours!