What Would Help You To Tell A Story?

I’m writing the research report from the Communities of Practice research project today: this is exploring how people engage in CoPs, and the barriers that may prevent them from doing so. The output will be a series of guidelines and ideas to develop the skills and capabilities to join, form, and support, these specialist communities. One question really struck me: ‘What would help you to tell a story’.

What Would Help You Tell A Story?

63 people said that they wanted ‘mentoring to boost confidence in how to do it’. 38 wanted ‘time set aside just to address storytelling’, whilst 28 wanted ‘tools’. 26 requested ‘information on how to tell stories’, whilst only 11 stated ‘less restrictive organisational policies’. 7 people were already very comfortable telling stories, and wanted ‘no support’, whilst 4 said stories were ‘not relevant to them’. Only one said that they wanted ‘examples of good stories’.

To me, this give a clear picture, albeit in a small sample size: we know what stories are, and don’t feel particularly restricted in telling them, but people want space, and support, to develop their skills. This, for me, speaks to the importance of ‘Storytelling’ in Social Leadership: strong storytellers, who can help others to succeed. Not purely around technical aspects, and certainly not to give good examples (we are all, in our way, story experts already), but to nurture and develop these skills, and, crucially, to hold others safe as they learn to be great themselves.

That is a core notion of Social Leadership, indeed, of any type of leadership: to hold people safe.

What would help you to tell a story?

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
This entry was posted in Stories, Storytelling and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What Would Help You To Tell A Story?

  1. Ian Blake says:

    For me mentoring would be welcome. Another key factor, which in a way is connected with confidence, is trusting that the audience will not ridicule – disagreement and discussion are welcome, but not the feeling of being ridiculed.

  2. Just wanted to confirm that the biggest fear that people have and where a community can help is an ‘All equal all to speak mindset’

    I read an interesting article last week from the England Rugby performance coach Neil Craig where he was highlighting how even the most junior member with only 5 caps was able to participate.
    He said We are trying to develop a trust factor so they can voice their opinion and it is valued. In some other environments, would he feel like he could have that kind of input into the discussion?”

    In terms of a senior person contributing Robshaw was relieved of the captaincy after leading England into the 2015 World Cup, a painful period that affected him deeply.

    “He has been in the furnace,” Craig says. “He is someone who can share those stories with his team-mates, someone who has had an opportunity to reflect on those experiences. Storytelling on these subjects is powerful and the players need to hear some of that. That is sheer gold not only for a rugby team but also for a community.

    Also at the end of the story – a friend of mine who is a professional speaker gave me some advice
    ‘End your talk with a call to arms – to take some action. If they don’t take action then they’ve been entertained but if they do take action they’ve been educated.”

    David Gurteens Knowledge Cafe’s, the initial speaker leaves the audience with 3 questions for discussion which gets people talking and internalising any lessons they hear including other peoples experiences.

    See you’re looking at WOL and COPS which is an area, I’ve been looking at. In true WOL manner maybe we can hook up for a chat.

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