Stories are integral to being human. Integral to empathy, integral to connection and integral to meaning making.
When we tell stories, the listeners’ brains start releasing chemicals that nurtures trust and a sense of common humanity, which at the same time embeds the learning that takes place.
But stories also serve another great purpose, and that is HOPE.
Hope is an essential element of what makes a workshop transformational.
When we tell our own, moment-based stories of transformation at appropriate times during our workshop, we empower participants to feel that whatever obstacle or challenge we overcame, they can overcome too. Whatever wisdom we learned, they can apply to their lives too. Whatever action we took, they can take too – and life will change.
Such is the extraordinary power of Storytelling.
And it works this way because it is real, authentic and live.
There is a special energy in a room when stories of transformation are shared, it is as though time stands still.
Moment-based stories of transformation are not chronological tales of our lives. And they are not about making us look like the hero. Those stories will serve to disconnect, rather than nurture, a community of learners.
Instead, moment – based stories of transformation are those pivotal moments during our life where we experienced a shift of some kind, a shift that made us see the world differently, see ourselves differently, where we took inspired action or chose a different path.
These are the moments in our lives worthy of story – precious gifts of insight into the experience of being human.
They are moments that feel vulnerable and powerful at the same time.
Owning our stories and telling them wholeheartedly and courageously for the service of our clients is showing up in our Greatness as the Authentic Leaders they need us to be. And the very act of the telling will help people share their own stories and imagine a new hopeful future.
So, finding our moments of transformation worthy of story is essential to weaving together a workshop that will truly help people to change people’s lives. And knowing which story to choose and when to tell it is vital. We must only ever tell stories if we know what the purpose of telling that story is: How, precisely, is this story going to help the people listening?
Essential is also a carefully curated coherent narrative to your workshop. A narrative where participants really feel as though they are journeying with you as their Captain, navigating challenges and finally being able to reach brighter shores.
Story is so crucial to a transformational workshop that without it, it is questionable if the workshop is transformational at all. Therefore Story is naturally a central part of the work I do with my clients in the Wish Tree Academy, where I support them to find, own and tell their stories – bottom lining their message to the world and stepping into their authenticity as leaders.