When Parents Lead, Children Succeed

B2W Radio - Using Narrative to Connect the Social and Economic Dots of Society

B2W Radio - Using Narrative to Connect the Social and Economic Dots of Society

Elane V. Scott
Rick Stephens
Featured Guest:
Bob Dickman

Dear Stakeholder Leaders,

Today's guest, author and trainer Bob Dickman, defines storytelling as a story - wrapped in an emotion - that can compel us to take action and thereby transform the world around us. That is why great stakeholder leaders are inevitably great storytellers too.

On this fourth program in the Birth2Work Radio series called "Telling Your Story," we continue to build the case that accurate storytelling (Brian Dyak, 4/13/09) can help guide individuals (Michael Benner, 4/20/09) to see themselves differently, and lead groups and communities (Vicki Haugen and Kim Kuchenbroad, 4/07/09) to realize a whole new vision for their future. With today's show, we bring you one step closer to being able to do this for yourself and your community. We bring you a view of storytelling from a master who teaches story telling for a living.

Bob Dickman is an executive coach who teaches narrative strategies as they relate to corporate communication, product design, and branding through FirstVoice, a consulting firm specializing in media awareness training for business. His book, The Elements of Persuasion (HarperCollins), co-authored with Richard Maxwell, was nominated as one of the top business books of 2007 and has been translated into 15 languages. In our interview we get a close up glimpse at how he actually works with clients to bring out their ability to reach a crowd with story. You'll learn how his work with clients all across the country aligns with Birth2Work and why understanding the elements of a good story can change the way you communicate, forever. Many of the core principles he outlines in his book, are ones that we embraced in the writing of our own book, The System: Igniting the Soul of Commerce.

Whether talking a cop out of a parking ticket, getting that last stand-by seat to get to a wedding, or simply telling our own personal stories to friends, telling a compelling story creates empathy, part of the larger ability humans have to put themselves in another person's shoes. We are able to attribute mental states to another entity, which is crucial to social interaction and communal living-and to understanding stories others tell us.

In our book, we drew heavily on traditional story telling to fill in the emotional details of the years of facts we had gathered about what is going on in America's communities and why too many kids aren't fully developing the skills they need to thrive in the new economy. We wanted to promise our readers that their time spent on this book was of great value because these facts are about real people and real circumstances. And they would be able to remember what they read. In the novel, by naturally utilizing the human instinct for empathy, we wrote about characters who are all the people we know from communities we've lived in or visited. Readers could see themselves in the fictional community, and more easily see how they too could learn and become active and engaged with others.

Storytelling has persisted in human culture since the earliest records known to man. Anthropologists find evidence of folktales everywhere in ancient cultures, written in Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, Chinese, Egyptian and Sumerian. Storytelling promotes cohesion among groups and serves as a valuable method for passing on knowledge to future generations -- informative, cautionary, or entertaining. We hope you will embrace this new knowledge for business, in life, and for transformation. Storytelling is an art and a science. To lead others well, a great stakeholder leader must have the facts, but he must also be able to share them with people he meets as if they applied to them personally, as any good storyteller knows.

Elane V. Scott

Functional Family Guide: