My client just stared at me – “how on earth did you do that?”
He flew his hands into the air…”You see, you were born with this, I can’t do it – it just doesn’t come naturally. I hate this.”
Here’s what happened, he told me about an event in his life. I listened and then I said, here, this is how I would tell it.
And when I told him the story, he looked at me as if he’d never heard it before. He said, “that was so much better than the way I told it, in fact, it was better than the way I lived it.”
And it’s true, it did sound amazing. But it’s not that it’s impossible for him to tell it this way – he’s just never tried to tell a story – he’s just been telling the facts of what happened
Let’s look at the difference.
You see, he told me about one of the greatest successes of his career. He had managed a customer relationship very well. He was recognized by his Manager and he was promoted to a position that was much more senior. He added a few details and how he felt about the success, how proud he was, how great it felt to be rewarded for his efforts.
And yes, it is a story worthy moment in his life, and yet, he had never told it as a story before.
In his version of what happened, he is the hero. And it’s not interesting. In fact for some, it may even be off-putting. Hearing about someone else’s success is nice….for them. But it’s not relevant to us, unless the full story is told.
So, what did I do to tell his story? Why did it sound so amazing, even to him? Let me break it down.
- Give context, background – we need to let the audience understand what came before the success.
- Don’t spare the pain, discomfort and frustration – in fact, this is a very important factor – most of us recognize the hard part because it’s what we live most of the time. When you admit your struggle, you become human.
- Tell us the journey, the ups and downs, the little wins and the big losses. Let us experience the ‘two steps forward, one step back’. This is our journey too and so we can relate.
- Explain how it feels. The more emotion you share, the more we can relate and even recognize ourselves and our journey.
- Be humble. Admit that success is surprising and an honor. Acknowledge that not everyone reaches it, show that you care that others are not often as lucky.
- While seeing your good fortune, share what it took for you to create that. Take responsibility for your success to – this was not by chance, you deserve this.
- Highlight the lessons you’ve learned from this journey. What you would do again and what you would do differently.
What moment in your life is worthy of your crafting and telling as a compelling story? Think of this occasion and go through the steps above. You’ll be amazed by how the story resonates for other. You’ll be astounded by what it can create in your business, your career and your life.
Why don’t you share it here to get you started
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