We are all storytellers. We tell the stories of our lives all the time. It’s not necessarily the profound, live changing stories, but the everyday ones. Where we ate the day before, how we got to work, the person we met outside the store, the strange email we received; these are the stories we tell, they are the day to day stories of our lives.
Often we forget that these stories are completely subjective. We chose everything about the narrative; who the protagonist is, the words we use, the journey we embark upon, the conflict and the outcome. So the stories we tell, that define our reality are our own choice entirely. We choose our reality in the way that we choose to tell our stories.
Whenever I tell stories to children, there is always one, and often several little faces that look up in wonder and ask me, “Is that true?” And when I tell stories to adults, there is usually someone who will look at me questioningly and say, “Really? Did that really happen?”
And I must admit that no matter what story I tell, I always say, “yes, of course, it’s true, all my stories are true stories!”
I say it playfully as I invite my listeners into the possibility of imagination and an abstract definition of truth! But, really, I mean it. All my stories are true. But what kind of truth is it?
Well, here’s what I mean.
All stories derive from some kind of experience. They come from an emotional response to something. They are a response to some kind of truth. Even fairytales and folklore come from a lovingly held belief, or a fear, or a special lesson that needs to be passed on to the next generation. These are all truths.
And then someone will say, but there’s no such thing as a giant flying snake. And I suggest to them…maybe, one day long ago, there was a really big snake. It was so much bigger than any snake that anyone in the village had ever seen that they began to talk of it as a ‘giant’.
And maybe one day, a young man from the village saw this enormous snake in a tree. When the snake slithered to the ground, it almost seemed like it was flying. And bingo, a generation later we have a giant, flying snake!
Truth in Storytelling, for me, is more about intention and presence.
Using stories with intention is about honest motivation, clear focus and striving for a positive outcome (and this does not necessarily mean a happy end).
Truthful Presence is about not hiding you within the story, being your full self and showing up in your true authentic way. When we can tell a story with clear intention and full presence, this is the telling of Stories that are True.
Why does truth matter?
Because clients are looking to trust the people they do business with. If your story is not truthful, I can’t trust you. If I can’t trust you, I’m not going to commit to have you support me in what I need to do. This is more important today than ever.
Once upon a time we could trust all the structures and institutions around us. It was no problem to trust the economy, the government, the financial institutions, the pension plans and the church.
We could even trust the weather more! Nowadays, this is not to be taken lightly and clients are craving the ability to trust the people they do business with.
If you want to build trust quickly and with ease, tell your authentic story. I can guarantee you that this is more powerful than any other marketing suggestion you’ll hear.
When you find your story and learn to tell it effectively, your ideal clients will find you. They will sense the truth in your story and understand instinctively that they can trust you.© Copyright 2010 Lisa Bloom