Last night I had an interesting conversation with a Law Lecturer who told me about ‘Narrative and Law’. This area, she said, is well recognised; the relevance of story in all kinds of law scenarios. She spoke about using ‘narrative’ (storytelling) in her lectures, how it really works; how students become so much more engaged and the learning opportunity is so much more effective.
This morning I received a fascinating email entitled ‘Stories and Doctors’, an article published in the New York Times by Pauline W. Chen, M.D. She talks of ‘Narrative Medicine’, a course now being offered in many medical schools, which encourages the use of story in helping medical staff in their dealings with patients and collegues. She describes how medical practitioners, so comfortable with the advances in technology, are now recognizing the importance of the patient’s story.
It is so encouraging to see how Storytelling is becoming so widespread and that it’s relevance and importance is recognized in so many fields. The issue of technology seems to be key. We live in a world where people are immersed in technology but at the same time are overwhelmed by often being unable to keep up with this changing world. It is a place where there is an incredible amount of information about EVERYTHING available at our very finger tips. And yet, more than ever, we seem confused and unclear about almost everything. Too much information, too much choice, too much technology?
People crave the simplicity of traditional storytelling. Annette Simmons in The Story Factor says, ‘information simply leaves us feeling incompetent and lost. We don’t need more infomation. We need to know what it means. We need a story that explains what it means and makes us feel like we fit in there somewhere….when you tell as tory that touches me, you give me the gift of human attention – the kind that connects me to you, that touches my heart and makes me feel more alive…we crave something that is real or at least feels real’.
Even in the disciplines that seem so technology and science based – law and medicine – or perhaps, especially in these disciplines, storytelling is needed so badly. So we can continue to feel alive, to be connected to something that feels real.
Check out www.story-coach.com for more on applying Storytelling to Business and Life.