Why is storytelling important?

In the last few months, our family  focused a lot of time on getting over the death of our doggie the best we can. We had a lot of support in twitter, on facebook and wonderfully helpful responses on my blog post.So first off, thank you for that.

My husband and  I were a little concerned for our girls and my other dog, Iris. We took the advice of friends who told us about the “Other side of the rainbow” and “Doggie heaven”. We made up a story so we could actually talk about Charlie at home. Charlie is now in doggie heaven – playing with the other dogs. He is a shiny star that will not come back home, but we CAN go out and say hello to him at night. And that is what we do. As a family. We say good night to Charlie and give each other a Charlie hug.

And guess what? It makes ME feel better too. The story. The hug. The thoughts.

Last week, I co-led a workshop called HerStory with Aliza Sherman. You can look at our posterous notes here.  As all of us worked on the exercises and shared our stories, the emotions got intense in the room. We connected with each other at a number of levels and when the workshop was done we all had a special bond – simply because of our shared stories. My whole conference experience was completely different as a result of opening up to a few women with my stories.

I have said it so many times before and yet, one more time, I am in awe. I  am in awe as to how powerful a story can be – to build relationships, to sell stuff, to win people over ….

When and where do we tell stories

A story that I made up for my kids has affected me so profoundly. I still think of my dog every single day – several times. I replay his last few hours over and over again. But then, I always end by thinking of him as a shiny star and a happy dog, frolicking in heaven ! My heart is still heavy but the pain is lesser.

Telling the story of my own life and hearing the stories of others has helped me connect to SO many other women – and SO many other entrepreneurs.

Stories are SO incredibly powerful. A lot of life is about learning to tell the right stories and tell them well … no matter who we are talking to or what goal we need to accomplish. And honestly, we have all the tools we could possibly have today – blogs, email, video, twitter – you name it!

  • MARKETING: Selling in businesses/marketing is about telling the buyer a story that matters to him/her
  • COMMUNITY : Making friends and connections is about sharing stories that connect the two people
  • PARENTING : Making a child understand the importance of something is all about crafting the right story. I use this trick all the time – finding the right emotion, lesson and story to move my kids, make them think is a key skill I am still working on.
  • SELF-IMPROVEMENT / INSPIRATION : As a child, I was always inspired to hear stories of women who made it big. Even today, I am always on the lookout for stories of people who have made it through the path that I am on at the present.

How do you use stories in life and business? Have you been surprised by how stories have affected you?