Great stories and breathtaking storytelling are a very integral part of healing negative events. If you want to create a memorable experience and heal the impacts of negative events at the same time, you must master the psychology of storytelling. We noted this key fact, in our earlier blog: Remarkable Stories Connect Emotionally.
The ability to influence is very difficult without a contextual story. Don’t tell facts to influence, tell stories. The more you improve storytelling, the more your influence … it is as simple as that.
Stories make it easier for people to understand. They are the best way, by far, to spread your ideas and ability to influence.
Research lead by Melanie Green and Timothy Brock reveals that trying to persuade people by telling them stories works extremely well. The reason that stories (when told well) are so appealing is that you can transport customers inside the story and get your point across without directly trying to convince.
Researcher Jeremy Dean (founder of PsyBlog) notes the following on the effectiveness of stories:
Once inside the story, we are less likely to notice things which don’t match up with our everyday experience.
Related material: Great Stories and Storytelling Can Have a Very Healing Influence
There is a very interesting story that was told by the Rabbi Nachman of Braslav centuries ago that I recently ran across from Donna Jacobs (a storyteller peacemaker in Australia). It does a great job of illustrating our points. Here is the story:
A King had a son who believed he was a rooster. The prince hopped around the palace and spent hours under the table pecking for crumbs. He was naked and wild. No doctors seemed to be able to cure the boy and bring him back to sanity. Finally, a great sage arrived who offered to see the Prince. The man took off his clothes and crawled under the table with the boy. He too pecked and hopped, scratched and called out for the sun to set and the sun to rise.
Days passed. The boy was happy to have another rooster companion. Then one day the sage put on a shirt. The boy spoke for the first time,
“A rooster does not wear human clothing.”
The sage said, “That is true usually. But I am cold and I am still a rooster whether I wear a shirt or not.” So the boy also put on a shirt. Day by day the sage walked more and more upright. The boy seemed horrified. “I thought you were a rooster and now you are walking like a man.”
The sage whispered to him, “I am still a rooster, but I am pretending to be a man. A rooster is prey to hunters and those who are hungry.” The sage dressed and began to sit at the table.
Finally, the prince dressed and sat down beside him.
The King was pleased. And the sage said to the boy, “Even when you pretend that are a King you should never forget that you are a rooster.” And that is what happened.
We have paraphrased this story. However, it is evident that there is a profound meaning beneath the content of the tale. The imagination ideas were very intriguing to us. How easy it would be to become arrogant and stuck in believing we were enlightened if we acted and dressed in a certain way. The sense of play and imagination, a flexibility of mind and a continuous longing for learning kept sanity part of the journey. It was only someone who fully had experienced this path of loosening our grip on fixation of identity and belief that could climb under the table and slowly move us toward a place at the table with others. And remind us to have compassion and pride in resilience and kindness, never forgetting the actual nature of imagination rather than just solid believe.
It is interesting to note there are often problems at the start of stories that are not actually defined or spoken. In this story perhaps the problem is that the King believes that to be a rooster is insane and that it must be changed instantly to a human. The King has forgotten that to be human may be to be more tender, flexible, and making choices that allow us to live with each other and ourselves more fully.
The Dalai Lama once noted that we need not justify the perpetrator, but we can have compassion for them. It is time to stretch our capacity to imagine a world that we can all live in. We are ignoring the root causes of violence and despair in our panic to restore what we believe is order. A secret weapon is keeping alive the power of imagination so we can put ourselves in others’ shoes.
It is time to keep our intelligent hearts open and not forget that we are also roosters.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a great storyteller in every school and organization? They could always be there at moments when solace, kindness, and wisdom are needed. The storyteller, prepared for deeper understanding, brings healing to our ordinary selves in difficult times.
Breathtaking storytelling … here’s the key takeaway
While we are all often resistant to the idea of being told what to do, we are very susceptible to agreeing with the ‘moral of the story’ and its influence due to how it is presented to us. Great stories and storytelling can do this for us all.
So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is there is no conclusion. There is only the next step. And that next step is completely up to you. But believe in the effectiveness of motivational stories. And put them to good use.
It’s up to you to keep improving your creative storytelling. Lessons are all around you. In this case, your competitor may be providing the ideas and or inspiration. But the key is in knowing that it is within you already.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.
When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.
Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Are you devoting enough energy improving your enthusiasm?
Do you have a lesson about making your motivation better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
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