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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How story telling can help improve relationships

Photo source: Francis Mariani

I've been busy. 

The instant default reply from most people I know when I ask them, "What have you been up to?". I'm guilty of saying it as well. If I'm asked for more detail I'll rattle off items from my mental check list of things to do.

It was different when I asked Marco Pasqua the award winner at our SEEDS business leadership awards event. He shared with me the story about why he was busy, the journey he was on and what he was looking to accomplish. What made meeting him stand out to me was that he had taken the time to develop his own personal story.

Why does sharing stories matter?

Story telling's power lies in its ability to create connections between you, me and others.

When Marco shared with me his story, that was a hundred times more engaging and meaningful than if he were to just tell me that he was busy running his own business, has a few presentations to do next week and a friend to see during the weekend.

Think about your favorite movies. Think about the books you read over and over. Think about the songs you put on repeat. The stories that have the biggest impact on us are powerful because through hearing them we can see a bit of ourselves in the story right? The ability to create connections is the power of Story telling.

When people ask, " How are you or what have you been up to?", they are looking to connect with you. If we just rattle off a list of things we need to do we are missing an opportunity connect and build stronger relationships.

Giving time for yourself

Photo Source: AJ Cann
With work and all the volunteer roles I've taken, I rarely slow down to reflect on the experiences that I am having and turn them into stories.  Taking a moment to stop and think about what has been going on in your life is like a mental health check-in. Working hard is great but if you don't take the breaks and rests you need you wont get the results you are looking for. In order to be able to share a story about yourself you need to take the time to reflect.

If you were interested in learning more about Marco and what he does, check out his website here.

By Stevie Vu

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