Using storytelling in your coaching… and why there’s more than one way to tell a story…

Although the origins are disputed, legend has it that Ernest Hemingway made a wager with fellow writers that he could write a story in only 6 words. Judge for yourself if you think he won the bet…

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I experience storytelling a lot in my day job when I ask people to talk about their coaching (although interestingly most don’t recognise this as storytelling until I point it out). I also experience storytelling done really well… and also not so well. Those who (in my opinion!) use storytelling less well are those who have a one-size-fits-all approach (usually too long winded with too much unnecessary detail) and aren’t able to adapt how they tell the story to suit the context of the interaction.

Which made me consider how I use stories in my communication and if I have the ability to recognise and effectively use a range of approaches to storytelling from longer and more detailed to connecting with someone at an emotional level using a very concise and powerful story.

As always this is a work in progress but worth working on I think. How about you? Do you use a range of storytelling to add impact to your interactions and do you consciously decide which approach to use in a given situation?

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