The Power of Story

One of the sisters that I work with has shared with me, over and over again, how she only “gets” what I’m saying when I give her an example, or say it through a story. I remember the first time I understood this about her. I had told her many times how important it was to me that, when we work together on a project, her piece comes in on time. Being more flexible than I am, the deadline was less important to her, and I ended up getting very frustrated. Then, I told her my story. For four years, the boss that I collaborated closely with never fulfilled her part of the projects we worked on together. I was always left scrambling at the last minute, trying to do what she should have done. The frustration and stress was almost my undoing. Living with that pattern for four years had left me a bit suspicious when it came to collaboration.

After I shared that story, Sister “got it” and was never late on a deadline again.  Part of a communicator’s and an artist’s craft is to seek to always pay attention to how we say  what we wish to communicate. Can we find ways to describe our experiences as stories?

A friend sent me a link to this youtube video that dramatizes the importance of how we say what we want to say–or, rewriting. It’s a good example of how much easier we “get” another person’s experience when they tell us a piece of their story. Enjoy!

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