“Stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.”
~ Dr. Howard Gardner, Harvard University
For the past 51 years, the picturesque town of Jonesborough, Tennessee, has hosted The International Storytelling Festival. I was among the 10,000 lucky listeners who heard tales of varying veracity, humor, and poignancy. Expert storytellers from around the world captivated me. It was a feast for the ears and a reminder of how the power of storytelling can open our minds and hearts.
Remember how much you loved stories when you were a kid? How you begged for one more story at the library, or just before bed? Great storytelling should be an essential form of communication in the business world. Stories provide an engaging, entertaining way to talk about issues and solve problems, simplify data, and create a personal connection between speakers and their audience, (Wow, it’s like she’s inside my head!). Adding impactful storytelling humanizes work-speak and jargon, provides credibility, and lets us evaluate information with a new perspective. Stories can create the phenomena I call In-To-Me-See, creating a level of intimacy that offers deeper insights into life experiences.
Instead of sticking to the facts and dry data in your presentations, add impactful stories to deepen and intensify your message.
Good Storytellers …
With the outbreak of war in Israel and Gaza, it’s been difficult not to go down that dark rabbit hole of despair at the horror and devastation of what has happened and what lies ahead. So listening to Dr. Jane Goodall’s message of hope, in which she stressed the resilience of the human spirit was a salve for my soul.
At 89 years old, this trailblazing primatologist’s pioneering work with chimpanzees erases the sharp dividing line between humans and animals. And, she continues to work tirelessly to teach us how to take better care of our four-legged partners while protecting the earth.
From the outset of her career, Dr. Goodall faced harsh criticism from colleagues who objected to her unconventional methodology. Researchers numbered the animals so that they wouldn’t become attached to their subjects. She not only insisted on naming the animals but believed they had personalities, emotions, and feelings. This methodology drew Dr. Goodall close to her subjects. She earned their trust, and as a result, transformed our intellectual and emotional grasp of chimpanzees, and revolutionized our understanding of how closely humans are connected to other species.
In addition to traveling the globe 300 days a year to raise awareness and hope, Dr. Goodall heads up two non-profit organizations, The Jane Goodall Institute and Roots and Shoots, whose mission is to improve the lives of all animals, people, and the environment.
Long before it was popular, Dr. Jane Goodall was a hero for animal conservation and deforestation. Now, with climate change threatening our very existence, she remains steadfastly determined and hopeful that we can and must save the planet. Her commitment and dedication are unparalleled. After 60 years, she remains a role model for all of us, regardless of our age or stage in life. Truly remarkable. Truly UNSTOPPABLE!
Do you have an UNSTOPPABLE woman you’d like us to showcase in an upcoming newsletter? EMAIL ME your suggestions.