“Once upon a time….”

These words conjure images in our mind. We tell our children the story of the ‘boy who cried wolf’ to get over the message that if you lie, then eventually people won’t believe you when it is critical they do.

No matter what religion you follow, the holy books are filled with moral stories that attempt to shape your thinking and therefore your actions.

Never underestimate the power of a great story. However, in business we seem to underestimate its worth. Businesses tend to focus on processes and numbers, not stories and experiences. Over the years I have learnt the power of a story to get over messages to help organization’s improve their Customer Experience. Many of my slides in a key note speech are just pictures to provide a visual element to the story I am telling. These stories provide a key message and challenge people’s status quo.

I read this interesting article about story telling which I thought was very true.

‘Stories are about collaboration and connection. They transcend generations, they engage us through emotions, and they connect us to others. Through stories we share passions, sadness, hardships and joys. We share meaning and purpose. Stories are the common ground that allows people to communicate, overcoming our defences and our differences. Stories allow us to understand ourselves better and to find our commonality with others.
Stories are how we are wired. Stories take place in the imagination. To the human brain, imagined experiences are processed the same as real experiences. Stories create genuine emotions, presence (the sense of being somewhere), and behavioural responses.

Stories are the pathway to engaging our right brain and triggering our imagination. By engaging our imagination, we become participants in the narrative. We can step out of our own shoes, see differently, and increase our empathy for others. Through imagination, we tap into creativity that is the foundation of innovation, self-discovery and change.’

Read the full article on LinkedIn here.

By Colin Shaw, CEO, Beyond Philosophy | Leading Customer Experience consultancy | Author | Training | Research | Keynote speaker

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