Saturday, July 24, 2010

The power of a story well told

John Kotter, author, marketing expert and professor at Harvard University says, "Stories stick in the brain in a holistic way, better than charts, numbers and concepts. As a result the probability that the message will have an impact on behavior goes up."

I'll never forget one of the few times I substituted in an elementary school. I was sitting in a chair reading a story to the kids and they were gathered around me in irregular rows. As I read, I began to realize that the first row had moved up until several of them were touching me and even leaning on my knee. Remember what it was like to be caught up in the telling of a good story? We respond to the sound of the reader's voice, the visual images they are conjuring up, our empathy with the characters and our anticipation of the outcome.

Adults respond in the same way! We can use the power of a story to engage them and make our point. Whether you're mentoring one-to-one, leading a team meeting or speaking in front of a group─remember the power of a story well told.

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