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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Power of Story Telling - Trevor Gay

Sometimes I have been glued to a story told by someone – my concentration has been total. In more reflective moments I think about the process I have been through. How is it that:

I am not suggesting everyone learns through stories, or that stories are the best, or only way of learning. Stories are simply one of many methods of teaching and learning - but it is interesting to muse that before the written word was invented, all information was passed on orally. Arguably, the oldest skill in the communications book of tricks is the spoken word. With the words we speak there is no electronic spell check or grammar check. When we are talking we don’t think about left or right justified so maybe we are more ‘on the spot’ with our spoken word. Little wonder many like to think carefully before opening their mouth to speak – little wonder equally, that many regret speaking without thinking first. The power of the spoken word is immense.

Some have the ability to deliver the story in such a compelling way that we never forget it. I cannot recall a page of A4 text from my Physics lessons at school - but I can probably recall almost word for word, some of the stories I have been told – twenty or thirty years ago.

In the world of organisations, management and leadership I believe we are beginning to appreciate the value of story telling.

I think we should not under-estimate the power of story telling in management and bisiness. It is one of the most potent weapons in the arsenal of any manager and if used sensibly, wisely and sparingly it can prove a most effective way of:

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