Storytelling to Counter Toxic Narratives

Stories do not breathe, Arthur W. Frank contends, but animate. They work with us, for us, and as Frank insists, always work on us. They affect what we can see as real, as possible, and worth doing or even best avoided.

full blog post
Close

“speak before you think”

  • We are tired of “hype.” This term means be authentic. Authenticity requires that we do not “spin” our representations of ourselves. It’s being true to our personality, spirit and character, and showing the audience ways to be true to theirs, telling the truth in caring ways, and supporting the integrity of ourselves and our audience.

  • We have chosen this term to highlight the importance of asking questions that really matter, whether or not they can be quantified in traditional ways. This is a new process approach for many clients. It empowers us to listen to each other’s stories and treasure the fact that we are all on a similar human journey and the authors of our own lives. This spirit of unconditional positive regard, congruence, and empathic understanding extends to our audience’s world of meanings and feelings as they are willing to share their world with us. It compels us as storytellers to broaden not only our minds, but engages us, provokes us, inspires us, and ultimately connects us to one another. And working together from there we get breakthrough results.

    Today, in business, we frequently “swallow our truth.” We say things to please or look good to others. Speaking before we think is different. It does not give us a license to say things that are hurtful to people. Speaking the truth is principally about being clear, being honest, and being authentic and not manipulating people for a result. With such authenticity, we can move our colleagues to action. Without it, we can’t even get a hearing, nor should we.

  • Rogers, 1965; Robert Redford; Sharma, 2003; https://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorgan/2015/09/03/what-are-the-modern-limits-of-authenticity-in-public-speaking/#41c417b40324; IWB Manifesto; IWB Going Primal; IWB TT&MS