Story-Based Strategies and Tools

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Yesterday, Terrence Gargiulo and HRDQ-U hosted a free webinar entitled, Unleashing Communication: Story-Based Strategies and Tools. Gargiulo is the author of eight books several of which have been translated into Chinese, Korean, and Spanish. For his creative use of narrative, INC Magazine awarded Gargiulo their Marketing Master Award. His work as an internationally recognized organizational development consultant earned him the 2008 HR Leadership Award from the Asia Pacific HRM Congress for his ground breaking research on story-based communication skills.

Over 560 people registered to listen to the webinar live. If you want to watch and learn, you can do so here.

By sharing stories we are better able to express and appreciate our differences. The social network of stories becomes the fabric for meaning to emerge. Think of stories as complex self-organizing systems. Our differentiated sets of experiences are integrated and tied together by the rich, fluid nature of stories. In this medium of stories, we create the foundation for building a true community of learners.

Below was the agenda for the session:

  • Look at a tool for eliciting stories that facilitates reflective conversations
  • Discuss case studies that feature use of the tool
  • Review strategies for implementing story-based communications in organizational learning

The first interactive piece of the webinar was to take a poll to see “Are you currently using stories in the design and delivery of your organization’s learning initiatives?”

The replies were as follows:

A. Not at all – 9%

B. Rarely – 21%

C. Occasionally – 48%

D. Extensively – 21%

As you can see, almost 70% of the audience was already using stories. But in the right way?

Well, what is the right or correct way to use storytelling in your learning initiatives? Some of the answers from the audience were role-playing, debriefing, After Action Reviews, Customer Service Webinars, and Human Resources training.

Stories are at the heart of how we learn. They are relational in terms of people and how we connect to information. Stories accelerate relationships. When most people think of a good storyteller, they picture a good public speaker. While that is often true, it is also true that we are all good storytellers.

There are 9 basic storytelling skills:

  1. Eliciting
  2. Listening
  3. Observing
  4. Indexing
  5. Reflecting
  6. Synthesizing
  7. Modeling
  8. Selecting
  9. Telling

Experiences are best told as stories. That is the “ROE” or Return on Experience. Gargiulo said, “Reflecting on stories leads to knowledge transfer that results in performance improvements.”

The next poll asked, “If you were interested in drawing out stories from a group, how would you trigger them?”

The replies varied from starting with a personal story, asking questions, getting personal, and comparing experiences.

Timelines are also a good way to trigger stories.

For much more information on how to weave stories into your training, click here.

Sign up today to make sure you don’t miss the next free webinar!

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