How to be a better writer, leader or speaker in one step.
It’s a wise but apocryphal tale: A Psychology student wanted to explore how humans think, so she scripted a question for the University’s most powerful computer: “Do you calculate that you will ever communicate like a person?” she asked it. The computer then set to work to analyze its own computational language. Finally, the machine delivered its answer in just six words: THAT REMINDS ME OF A STORY.
It’s true. Since the days of the first cave art we humans have lived, worked and communicated in stories and legends. Jesus of Nazareth taught and led his followers through stories and parables, as did virtually every significant historical leader. Today and every day we burnish the stories of ourselves in an ongoing narrative that gives our lives meaning, keeps us sane, and connects us to one another.
In our increasingly complex, data-driven world, a good story stands out as a bright little island of relevance and humanity. Sure, logic and information are important because they feed the head and keep our feet on the ground. But good writers, speakers and leaders know that stories are essential, too, because they feed the heart and keep our eyes on the stars.
Whenever I work with a writer, speaker or leader, I always convince them that the most powerful words they can add to their work with people are these: Let me tell you a story…
1) Humans, by nature, are story-driven.
2) In an increasingly data-cluttered world, stories stand out and feed the heart.
3) Great writers, speakers and leaders are all unabashed story-tellers.