Telling Your Story

During the Nexus North Fellowship at Yale, we talked a lot about the importance of find the right question.

If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.   Albert Einstein

I employed this strategy yesterday during my Managing the Message, Telling Your Story workshop produced by FuseSocial.

The morning really focused on media training and managing the organizational message.

Thanks to Jerry, Jordan, Doug and Craig who brought their reporting skills to bear in a lightening round of media speed dating, the 16 participants were able to get a small taste of what being in the media spotlight is all about.  I can't stress enough the value that our media friends bring to this exercise.  Without them, it would be something very different, and no where near as impactful.

In the afternoon, we shift gears by asking the essential question: "Why does your organization exist?"  We had representation from several different social profit organizations, with multiple participants from Some Other Solutions.  Individually, they took a deep creative dive, using words, phrases, drawings and pictures to illustrate a story about their core purpose.

Going through old magazines and using various tools that we had provided, they spent 45 minutes creating a small collage.  When they were done, each person came up to the front and shared.  The result of their work was extraordinary, and illustrated how each and every person was inherently creative and a storyteller.

Every person in organizations has access to authentic and powerful stories.  The first step is to turn on your "Story Radar" and find them.  Then, it's about trying to find ways to share them, whether that be in words, phrases, anecdotes, images, videos or social media posts.  In the final segment of our all-day workshop, we focused on finding a few.

Setting our chairs in a circle, one by one they shared marvellous stories connecting what they do with why they exist.  All of them were beautiful reflections and anecdotes, several completely took my breath away, and three or four really brought on the tears.

Why does your organization exist?  Do you have a real sense of that?  And do you have a story or two that connect what you do each and every day with why you exist?

It was an emotional, inspiring and illuminating process and I feel honoured and blessed to have been able to hear what was shared, both with the collage creations and around the sharing circle.

This is one workshop I look forward to delivering again and again.


Popular Posts