It's a necessary prerequisite for persuasion. (Good post on how to understand another's point of view.
Karen Dietz's insight:
It's easy to say, "Hey, just tell a story and you'll start a relationship."
But if our stories do not connect to the person's real needs and issues, we are whistling in the wind.
So understanding your audience -- whether as an individual or as a group -- is critical for your biz stories to make a difference.
Which is why I selected this article. I don't find too many posts on this topic, which is one reason why I brought it in to this collection. And it is also a really good article.
The authors provide specific steps and questions to ask that will allow you to connect more directly with your audience. They will come away from the convesation/story sharing with you saying, "He/she really got me!" That's a double-entendre by the way :)
I hope you get some great ideas from this article, and that your influence skills continue to soar.
Hey Leaders! Listening Isn't Easy, But It's Essential Information Management (blog) However, in working with leaders at all levels striving to strengthen their performance, listening skills aren't an issue some of the time; they are an issue nearly...
Karen Dietz's insight:
Periodically I run across an article about listening skills that is really good. This is one -- and can apply to anyone.
Effective or deep listening is the FIRST skill to build in effective storytelling. Leaders are particularly prone to focus on "telling" and not listening.
I like how this article talks about listening and the traps we fall into. And I like the practical advice offered, along with a fun exercise to do to hone your listening skills.
I'm in a workshop all week but am going to do the activity today to see what I can learn! Should be fun :)
What is this ability to step into someone else’s shoes? To imagine how they feel - and to hurt for them or be happy for them? Host Frank Stasio is joined by a panel of experts to discuss empathy, the trait that makes us uniquely human.
Lasana Harris is an assistant professor in psychology and neuroscience at Duke University; Jesse Prinz is a Distinguished Professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York; Pate Skene is an associate professor of neurobiology at Duke University and a second year law student; and Ralph Savarese is an associate professor of English at Grinnell College, a Duke Humanities Writ Large Fellow, and the author of “Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption”
"In our digital world, we encounter more and more noise and auditory barrage, that’s why Julian Treasure says that: “We are losing our listening.” Con...
Karen Dietz's insight:
Listening is a core storytelling skill. It is the first skill to master in business storytelling.
In my classes/trainings I am always surprised at how amazed people are about the power of listening once they are given permission to do so, and insights they share about about the listening activities we do together.
In this 7 minute TED talk Julian Treasure says we are losing our listening skills.
Perhaps we are. Treasure makes the case for the need to improve our listening skills -- to make connections, create understanding, reduce stress, and build peace.
Certainly we need to become better listeners in order to become better biz storytllers.
In the past I've curated other articles on listening skills and also the importance of audio branding. Just search on those keywords in the TABS section above for more material.
Treasure offers 5 ways to increase our listening skils -- that I think are actually fun -- and presents a model for better ways to listen to others. Yeah!
The root cause of organizational dysfunction is often distance — the distance between leaders who communicate in a top-down fashion and employees who develop a sense of estrangement from those leaders.
Here is a quick read with some powerful points to make: leaders fall short as communicators, yet following these tips will help set leaders on the right path to connecting, engaging with, and movingpeople.
Now that sounds pretty one-sided but here's the truth that this article also conveys -- if you follow the author's advice, you will be just as changed by the stories you hear as by the stories you tell.
That's where the magic of stories lay -- within the story sharing. If you use the principles in this article (listening more & better, small groups, show trust, authenticity), you will close that leadership gap and be as deeply affected by the process as your ability to deeply affect others.
Hmmmm -- now that's something to think about! Are you game?
What we discovered was that neither the Yale nor the Harvard study actually exists. There is no evidence that the studies took place and no papers were ever published. Yet the "goal-setting to-money" study is a particularly imperishable business myth that has circulated for several decades. It persists despite sound debunking efforts on the part of entities such as Fast Company, which conducted an in-depth investigation of the myth in 1996.
Here's an interesting piece about phantom research, business mythology, and evaluating the research stories we hear.
It's a good and interesting read -- not so much about being skeptical, but questioning and thinking carefully about research that is presented to us, particularly when it is imbedded within a story.
No question -- it's a tricky dance. The best way to convey data is through a story -- doing so builds trustcredibility, believability, and emotional connection. The easiest way to manipulate and skew research is through the stories you tell about it.
What to do? Obviously for the teller it is to represent the research accurately. In presentations when I talk about story research, I always offer the original research up for review for any listener who wants it.
For the listener, it's to check the research you hear about. Don't accept it unquestioningly. Ask for the original document.
Now go read the article to discoverwhat popularbiz myth was busted!
A story provides context; it transports the listener to a different place. Instead of discussing the facts about a topic, a story can transport a learner into an environment where those facts are actually being applied. Stories give meaning and context to what otherwise might just be information.
Whether you are an entreprenuer, business owner, or senior executive, you are constantly educating your clients/customers and staff.
Almost every single business I work with we end up working on using stories to educate staff about best practices and change, and/or using stories to educate consumers/clients on how to best use their products or services. This is always the crux of the matter -- the whole reason for our working together.
CEO should stand for 'Chief Educating Officer.'
If we use the lense of 'education' and 'learning' to view our business activities, the case for storytelling becomes obvious -- because using stories to transfer knowledge and wisdom is the best tool avaible.
I like this article because it helps connect the dots between learning and storytelling in ways that allow us to take business stories out of the training room. Especially when the author makes the point that "There are lots of ways to incorporate storytelling into learning, and it’s not always ‘telling a story’. Many times, the stories we need for those activities are available from the learners [customers, clients, staff] themselves."
When we shift our thinking about our businss function being one of education and learning, you open up a world of possibilities for biz storytelling.
Storytellers listen to their audiences while they tell their stories and shape the tale to meet the needs of the audience. It’s a relationship, a dance, not just a rote performance.
I love these words by colleague Laura Packer as she writes in her blog on organizational storytelling. Once again, this article is a powerful reminder of the power of listening and it being the first skill a good storyteller develops.
There are great storytellers and awful storytellers. The difference between the two is the ability to listen.
Read this article for terrific insights for businesses on listening skills.
Related posts:Digital Learning Commons hosting 2 Community Engagement & Storytelling Workshops with Special Guest Barbara Ganley The Digital Learning Commons is extremely excited to be hosting...
Hey -- if you can go hear Barbara talk, then share with us how it went. For the rest of us, I love the graphic that's posted displaying the interlocking dimensions of effective storytelling -- it really tells the story of storytelling. Keep this graphic in your back pocket to remind you about how these 3 elements intertwine as your share your business stories and listen for others.
Here's the 3rd article in 2 days about ways to improve our listening skills. Well, all I can say is, it must be time to focus on listening :)
This is what I love about this article that fellow curator Ken Jondahl found: it talks about the 4 types of listening we typically do. And how to avoid those experiences. And how to engage in the kind of listening that does produce powerful insights and results. Yeah.
So go listen better and have fun practicing this weekend!
Content marketers can learn about audience building & engagement from renowned author Robert Munsch. Improve your strategy with tips from a storytelling master!
Karen Dietz's insight:
When finessing your biz stories and creating content using stories, I love what both the author of the aritcle, Miranda Miller, and Robert Munsch say: "Let your audience love you first."
In other words, don't try to influence anyone to do anything until you have established a relationship and given something of value with your audience firstwithout expectation of an immeditate economic transaction.
A story can be a gift. So can other things. And the author provides some ideas here.
Overall, this is a nice piece with good reminders, and I really like the insights on ways to connect with your audience in order to build your business.
I did not even know what this meant until I read this article by colleague Andrew Nemiccolo and listened to my colleague Shawn Callahan explain it.
Basically it is this -- not everything we hear is a story. And plenty of people are confused about this, as I can attest to in my own story work with clients.
Shawn offers us an activity that will get us to quickly understand the storied world we live in, and helps us know what a story is and is not.
Thans Andrew and Shawn for putting this together! I know I am going to use it with clients. And with myself too so I can continue to develop my story listening skills (those always need attention no matter how long you've been doing this work!).
It's no secret that good leaders are also good communicators. And the best leaders have learned that effective communication is as much about authenticity as the words they speak and write.
Karen Dietz's insight:
Here's a quick article with very good advice. It's not about story structure, or the elements of a compelling story. It is instead all the things you need to think about BEFORE you launch into a story.
Like -- does your story match your actions? Or is there some misalignment there.
Are your stories making the complex simple -- or are they still too convoluted with details and side-tracks?
This article applies whether you are a leader in an enterprise, or a small biz owner.
And I love that the article ends with a focus on listening -- which is truly the heart of great storytelling!
After two months of use, we’ve learned to our sorrow that EMRs don’t tell us stories that make cognitive sense.
For years we've suffered from 'death by PowerPoint' as people's thinking and experience was forced into this limited computerized framework for transfering knowledge.
Now physicians are facing a similar problem. That's because we think of knowledge as discrete pieces of information instead of knowing that knowledge is best conveyed through stories and rich media imbedded with layered meanings.
Oh, when will we learn? Patients ARE stories.
You would think that with all the work going on in storytelling these days (social media, marketing, branding, sales, leadership, agile software development, architecture, education, training, teamwork, and other business applications) someone somewhere would get the idea that Electronic Medical Records (EMR) should allow for story capture.
Oh well. OK, I'll get off my soap box now.
To really understand the beauty and the warts of EMR and its connection to storytelling, read this article. Maybe you'll be the one with the breakthrough idea and be the next mega-millionare for solving this problem!
Years ago, as a journalist for a national magazine, I had the opportunity to interview music legend Jimmy Buffett. I recently pulled out my interview notes and took a look at what Jimmy told me back then. His key points about storytelling are relevant, even for those of us who tell stories in a more corporate environment than Jimmy does.
What a great but quick article to read that captures all the best reminders for corporate storytelling: listening, characters and have fun.
We know listening is the foundation skill for being able to tell compelling stories (see other articles on listening in this collection). In this article it is now linked to effective marketing and building effective social media strategies.
I like what the author has to say, "Why? Because listening is an ongoing process that is necessary to keep a strategy fresh and competitive. It enables decision-makers to find and better understand opportunities and stakeholders."
Combine your technical listening (analytics) with your person-to-person listening and you've got a winning combination.
Listening well (tech & people) not only informs your marketing strategy, it also allows you to know which story(ies) to tell when, creating even stronger connections with your audiences.
"Listening is one of the key ingredients of the most successful performers and the downfall of poor performers. This good article provides 6 tips to help you become a better listener."
Another set of great points about listening -- the first skill to master in effective storytelling.
Is there anything I would add to this list? Only to reiterate that in most conversations we are not really listening -- we are instead having a conversation with ourselves about what we are going to say in response, the piece of advice we are going to give, or the idea we are going to share.
When you listen delightedly however, when you are there to listen the best possible 'story' out of someone, your world shifts and real gems emerge. So read this article and practice better listening.
Many thanks to fellow curator Daniel Watson @rhodanmc for this piece.
1. Develop stronger active listening skills by capturing and deciphering three channels of information.
2. Synthesize information from multiple channels to draw conclusions and guide c...
Here are a series of activities you can download free to improve your story listening skills created by colleague & org story professional Terrence Gargiulo.
Why is this important you ask???
Because deepening your listening is the first skill all storytellers develop in order to be able to become compelling storytellers.
Improving your listening skills means you will be better able to listen for the story that wants to be told at any time, in any situation; you'll be able to listen better to the audience to see how you need to tell your story at that moment; and deeper listening skills will allow you to more easily discover the key message of your story.
So go do these exercises! And thanks Terrence for putting them together.