Do you like listening to stories?
Do you like sharing stories?
Last Friday night, I had a catch up audio call with one of my closest female friends.
She’s the friend I call up whenever I have a new idea for my book.
The two of us also geek out on self reflections, personal growth, and Positive Psychology stuff.
We were supposed to talk for just one hour but we ended up talking for more than 3 hours.
3 hours & 47 minutes to be exact! Hahaha!
We only ended the call because it was already past 12MN and we were both so sleepy already.
I guess this is how women were wired. We never run out of things to talk about.
Can you relate?
As I was sharing stories, my friend was laughing so hard at the so many of the anecdotes I shared!
One of the anecdotes I shared was what happened while I was on the plane from Singapore to the Maldives.
My friend found it so hilarious she said I should write a book about it!
(Maybe I’ll share about it when I’m more ready! It’s quite personal )
My friend is a speech teacher to high school students and she pointed out why my stories were so funny.
She said I was using this and that technique in sharing stories.
I didn’t know, hehe. I was just having fun sharing stories.
Do Stories Matter?
Stories really matter.
Stories bond people together.
Stories help preserve culture.
Stories move people to action.
Stories help us understand the context better.
I got the love of telling stories from my grandfather (my Mama’s father) and also from my Mama.
Mama loved telling stories. She also loved listening to stories.
Mama used to listen to my stories for at least two hours every single day from elementary until high school.
It only stopped when I moved to Manila to pursue my college studies but every time I go home to our province for vacations, we would resume our bonding thru stories.
I’m so grateful my Mama spent so much time with me and lavished me with appreciation, especially since time and words of affirmation are my top 2 love languages. My love tank was filled and even years after she’s gone, I’m still reaping the fruits of the time we shared together.
Should You Prepare When You Share Stories?
I do a lot of preparation when I give talks to companies and organizations.
I carefully choose which stories to share to support my key message and then I carefully prepare how to unpack the story. But when I share stories with my family and friends, I tend to be more on the impromptu side.
Something changed last Sunday.
I had a breakfast date with another dear friend of mine because she wanted to listen to my stories.
Given that my friend and I are also both very talkative when we’re together and that we can also go on and on and talk, I decided to prepare which stories to tell her.
We only had two hours to talk over breakfast, then we’ll hear Mass right after. I didn’t want us to be late for Mass.
I also didn’t want to monopolize the conversation and I was very interested to listen to her updates and stories.
The night before, I prepared in my mind which stories I’ll share with her, where to start my story, where to end, what details to share, etc.
Mission accomplished! I finished my stories on time and we were able to talk about other things that were important to us.
Even if it’s your family and friends you’ll share stories with, it is still important to prepare.
In addition to speaking impromptu from the heart and sharing whatever comes to mind, it’s also important to prepare in advance.
This will greatly improve the flow and quality of your conversations.
Prepare which stories to share and why, how to share your stories, how much time you’ll use to share your stories, etc.
It’s very important to be authentic when sharing stories, and not fabricate lies.
Importance of Stories in the Workplace
If you’re a leader of an organization, it’s also important to hear stories from your team members.
This can be done creatively and in a non-intrusive way.
Here’s one way I do it with my own little team.
During our team meetings via Zoom, we pray first and then each of us will share one thing we’re grateful for professionally, and one thing we’re grateful for personally.
I get a glimpse of what’s important to my team members not only at work but also in their personal lives.
This also gives me ideas how to support them and their growth.
The truth is, we cannot really fully separate our personal lives from our professional lives.
If you have problems at home, it affects how you show up at work.
That’s why I really believe we should normalize the culture of CARE in the workplace.
It’s not a mushy subject. It is relevant and it drives creativity, engagement, and productivity.
I love helping leaders and organizations create a culture of care and a culture where everyone feels safe, seen, and appreciated.
Sharing Stories Takes Vulnerability
Sharing stories allows us to build meaningful connections.
Sharing stories also takes vulnerability, especially vulnerability to be ‘seen.’
When we have doubts or we’re dealing with problems, sometimes the tendency may be to isolate ourselves.
I believe that during the times you’re in the dark, it’s when it is important to allow yourself to be ‘seen’ by the right people.
I shared a short 1-minute video about it on my LinkedIn post here
Please share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to read them.
May you find people you can share great stories with! 🙂
Thank you for listening to my stories!
I wish you fearless possibilities!
P.S. Here are three ways I can be of service to you: