Who doesn’t have a visceral response to the hypothetical question, “Do you want to hear a story?” We either roll our eyes or lean in, but we respond with more than just our heads when the possibility of a once-upon-a-time tale presents itself, don’t we? It’s more engaging than the most riveting PowerPoint presentation, and it has more impact than a well-researched dissertation.
Why are stories so powerful? Annette Simons, in her book The Story Factor, (hyperlink to: http://www.amazon.com/The-Story-Factor-Inspiration-Storytelling-ebook/dp/B004PYDBQC) explains it this way:
“Telling a meaningful story means inspiring your listeners—coworkers, leaders, subordinates, family, or a bunch of strangers—to reach the same conclusion you have reached and decide for themselves to believe what you say and do what you want them to do…When you decide to awaken sleeping wisdom rather than to convince others you are right, you will produce a much more powerful experience for both of you.”
Story is useful in sales, in parenting, and in faith since there are some irrefutable facts in life that are simply more captivating when ensconced in a story. Stories invite people in whereas cold facts may push them away. Whether the story is my own or folklore passed down through multiple generations and cultures, real life anecdotes connect us in business and in life.
Who is in your circle of influence that could use a good story this week? How can you use or have you used story to connect with and influence others?