Try NOT to listen!

Are you a little reluctant to the idea that stories exerts power over us? Does it seems a little ”over the top” when you see it in writing?
Well, I can’t force you to embrace the idea, just because I say so. But before you decide what you think, try to remember this kind of situation:

You are sitting in a public space, perhaps on a bus, when someone nearby starts to tell a story about their latest escapades. The story is
told in detail, down to the colour of his underwear.

Interesting..? Oh, that interesting?

I’m not surprised, since It’s everything you would tell a close friend, and the storyteller enjoys having a great listener.
Only there is a problem – they friend being told is not you. You are only accidently hearing everything and no matter how hard you try,
there is no way you can stop listen. Your ears simply don’t understand that you would rather not listen at all.

Are you still not convinced that stories are a powerful communication tool?

Then think about that lecture, held by a really boring teacher, you was forced to listen to. Sitting there, you know that those figures and dry data
are of great importance. In fact there is an examination coming up soon, so you really need to know everything about it. Sadly enough
this insight doesn’t help you a bit. Constantly you have to refocus and remind yourself to listen… hold your eyes open…
don’t drop your chin…

No! Don’t fall asleep!! Wake up!!!

OK. Now I hope that you at least will agree with me when I say that a story, it doesn’t have to be great, can do wonders to any lecture?
Or should I write ‘could’? The bitter truth is that not many teachers bother to learn the art of storytelling and those who knows it
by nature are far too few. Maybe this would change if they knew what we know:

Stories are powerful because they not only captures our attention, they hold us hostage. It’s actually hard to NOT listen when someone
starts telling a story. Even when it’s something completely uninteresting to us, like what someone’s granny did yesterday.

So don’t blame yourself for listening to others private conversations when sitting on the bus. It’s a part of being a true human being.
We are simply designed to react positively on stories since it’s our most powerful communication tool.

So powerful that it can move stones. More about that tomorrow!

This text is part 1 of chapter 1: the Power of storytelling in my coming book about storytelling within business.
To read everything go to the blogpage or choose the tag storytelling!

Åsa Rydhard is the pastor who has taken her knowledge about storytelling to a higher level. With a Master’s degree in Applied Cultural Analysis (MACA) she is specialized in storytelling as a communcation tool. As a consultant she uses her expertise to ensure that businesses understand how storytelling can be strategically used as a communciation tool to grow their customer’s interest and increase their market share.



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