We live in a story-driven world
We think dream and problem solve using stories making all humans wired for stories.
So let’s get started sharing a high-level look at the 4 steps of the story-driven process.
Storytelling is all the rage, from boardrooms to mailrooms; everyone wants to be a better storyteller.
So why does it seem storytelling is so hard for so many.
Today with our amazing scientific methods, we know we humans are wired for stories.
We think dream and problem solve using stories.
So why is storytelling so had for so many?
Because we have forgotten to listen to the person or audience we are telling our story to.
Yes, that’s right, story listening makes you a much better storyteller.
Actually, story listening can make you into a great storyteller because your stories will be exactly what your audience wants to hear and delivered in a manner that will generate the most impact.
Here is what we believe, “Seek first to understand, then seek to be understood.” Stephen R. Covey
The quote is from Stephen Covey’s wildly successful book – The 7 habits of highly successful people – first published in 1989.
The quote informs how we all should think before using a story to call anyone to take any action.
Seek first to understand, that’s it!
Now that you’ve listened well, what comes next.
I thought you would never ask, Story Building.
Story Building takes what we learn during our story listening exercise and validates the credibility of our work.
This phase of the process is inspired by tools created by the design firm IDEO.
We employ a Human-Centered Design (HCD) approach to problem-solving, where the problem is discovering an explicit understanding of our ideal client. We want to know what they celebrate with champagne and what they agonize over so much it keeps them awake at 2:00 AM.
HCD is a method of designing products and services that take are made by collaborating and co-creating with the person/business you are in service to.
HCD requires a commitment to do the work, a highly tuned sense of empathy, a creative and innovative point of view. HCD is based on the premise that people are the primary focus of any product or service, and that they should be involved in every stage of the process.
Makes sense right? After all, being servant readers the ideal client is who we are in service to and as such to assure the products or services we provide to them resonate with them, it is them who have the ultimate say on what wows and what works for them.
Well, you’ve made it this far so that means you’ve gotten a taste of what our story-driven process is all about.
We can describe our process in two words customer-centric or said using two other words customer-focused.
Either way, you get the picture, storytelling is largely about the listener.
The best way to make your audience “lean in” is to tell them a story about something they don’t know. This is called storytelling, and it’s one of the oldest forms of communication.
Storytelling Helps Us Understand What We’re Doing, Why We’re Doing It, And How We Should Do It Better
Story listening and story building are the foundation your stories are built upon.
Knowing which stories to share, and which platforms to share them on is mission-critical to assuring you are creating stories that will reach, engage and resonate with your audience.
To create compelling stories for your listeners, start by thinking about them.
Ask questions like:
What are they passionate about?
What do they celebrate?
What keeps them awake at night?
In other words, in your story, you are cast in the role of mentor and your product is the gift you have to share with the hero in your story, otherwise known as your ideal client profile (ICP).
Think Glenda the good witch who told Dorothy how to use the power manifested in the ruby slippers in the Wizard of OZ.
Then of course there is the legendary Jedi Master Yoda who accepted the task to train Luke how to use the force in Star Wars.
We know it’s hard but success in being a story-driven business requires you steadfastly resist positioning you or your product as the hero, full stop.
Now, you have collaborated with your ICP to co-create products, services, and stories sharing their value. Because you’ve done the work to collaborate and co-create with your ICP, selling products will require less push and should evoke a pull from them.
After All, they have a hand in the crafting and building of your offers.
However, nothing worth doing ever comes easy, so let’s talk about selling the lifeblood of every business. You don’t have a business; you are not for profit or a national resource.
Story Selling comes in many flavors; let’s explore a few.
- The personal story
- The historical story
- The opportunity cost story
- The client just like you story
- The value of taking the long view
- The and they lived happily ever after story
We build an array of stories for you to use, like tools applied to the right situation providing just the right context for your listener.