Humans and Stories
Or: “why are stories important”?
As humans, we transmit information through the telling of stories (or narratives). How did we explain weather before we could explain it scientifically? Through stories about gods and thunderbolts. How did we explain the values of our cultural group? Through stories about the right ways to do things and the consequences of doing the wrong things. How did we pass histories through the ages? In the form of stories.
The examples are endless and for every example, there is a concrete story that I could give. The key point is that human lives have always been rooted in story, and still are. As technologically advanced as we are, we still stories to define our cultural perceptions, to tell friends about our day, to explain complex problems and solutions, to remember sequential events and to retell a sequence of events.
What is fascinating about stories is that not only do the stories we tell ourselves affect what we believe about ourselves, others and the world, but that changing the story that we tell ourselves also changes what we believe about ourselves, others and the world. This means that immersing yourself in how to use story as a tool for self-development, for interpersonal communication, and for business or academic communication can help you share stories that can literally make change happen.
…you are anorexic, continually telling yourself how fat and ugly you are. What if you could start telling yourself a different story, one in which you are perfect as you are, that you are not fat and not ugly in your own eyes? Could that make change happen?
…you grew up green and were continually told that anyone coloured blue was evil and bad. You now have to work with some blue people and your work is suffering because of your beliefs. What if you could start telling yourself a different story, one in a blue person is just likely to be good or evil as any green person. Could that let your guard down, enough to help you see people for who they are, not just the colour of their skin?
…you are a scientist and you’ve uncovered incontrovertible evidence that cattle farming is leading us to
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Suzanne ranks in the top 3% of experts that I have ever met. She is smart, sharp, professional, insightful and delivers great results. I have worked with her as a colleague and on my own business projects. She understands all aspects of communication – online, in person, through visual mediums and cross borders. Suzanne is one of the first people I seek to consult and involve in all my projects. She is outstanding. – Rasheed Ogunlaru, Coach, Speaker, Author