Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I have a story to tell....

I attended an experience-sharing session in which there were four senior managers that we got to listen to. One of them used a narrative style to share his experiences. It may not have been storytelling exactly but it had quite a few elements of a typical story –

It was a chronologically-based – naturally unfolded - narration,
It came mixed with his emotions, pains and gains,
There were pointers to failures and successes and a lot of people-related information.

In sharp contrast, the others mostly condensed their learnings into Dos and Don’ts. I, personally, liked the narrative style a shade better than the other. Yeah. I am saying nothing new here. Just that I am not talking about the concept of storytelling per se but bringing it out through a real experience.

Going by the session that I attended, what’s fresh in my mind is that his style had the following advantages.

He was doling out advice but it did not seem like he was. This is obviously appreciated by the human ego.
His talk was engaging and involving. I needn’t even say this.
His talk, to many, may have seemed like they had the flexibility and the freedom to interpret it the way they wanted and may have left them thinking that they could make their own decisions based on someone else’s experiences.

I distinctly observed that most of the points that were brought out while summarizing the learnings from the session emerged from what he had shared. What more can I say? :)

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