There are some parallels in the idea of creating space and creating a ‘story’. Both are invisible, both kind of exist even if you pay them no attention or awareness, and both come into their own and are enormously powerful if they are brought to consciousness and with skill and experience are deliberately made.Read More
After so many years studying and practising group processes, facilitating, holding space, feels intuitive, like second nature, so that its hard to pull apart the steps, the details, the core essentials that make space safe, and safety is the name of the game, always.
Safety or trust is the critical state you are aiming for whenever you are facilitating, no matter what your purpose, but for this Muse I want to focus on the need for safety in order to elicit stories.Read More
Live storytelling performance is a fickle thing; no two performances are the same, even with the same story, teller and audience.
There is an energetic conversation that is occurring between the teller and the audience, through the story. It is a three-way relationship, and each feeds and affects the other. The teller conveys, through the whole of their performance, their confidence, energy, mood and capacity to hold the attention of the audience.Read More
Traditional thinking would have us pit sport and art against each other, as polar opposites, with art being seen as cultured, intelligent and creative, and sport as physical, simple, uncultured, competitive and generally artless.
But the more I reflect on my experiences of both, the more I think sport and art are far more closely aligned than we realise. For me sport is about the joy of doing something physical, in a group, that doesn’t feel like hard work because it is inRead More
I come from a legal background, over 20 years of studying and working in the law. With hindsight and an expansive view, I can see that some of what I was doing in the law was creative, but it’s a stretch, the language and concepts of ‘creativity’ were not used or understood let alone explored, in the realm of law. Creativity was for artists, advertisers, writers, the other people who lacked order in their working world - and the law definitely sees itself as being about order.Read More
I am a total improv fan. I love it. I think my love began when the wave of Theatresports, an improve based event, was at its height in Melbourne in the 90’s, it was even on TV! One time I went to a Theatresports event at the Victorian Arts Centre and it was antithesis of everything I ever previously seen in that building (probably a total of two other shows). It was loud, it was colourful, it was funny, but most of all it was unpredictable.Read More
In some ways the very act of telling a story about ourselves is an act of vulnerability because we are sharing who we are and how we think and feel. But just as we can tell ourselves stories that aren’t really true, so we can tell them to others. Stories of bravadoRead More
Trust is a pretty fluid and subjective concept. I used to think being trustworthy was about being true to your word, all the time. I used to think it was never lying, ever. I used to think it was having integrity and living with values, always. I was pretty rigid, and my idea of trust was based on high ideals which I tried to hold myself accountable to, (and of course I had a host of excuses when I didn’t!)
These days I have a more fluid and accepting view of trust. It strikes me that trust must ultimately begin with trusting ourselves.
If we trust ourselves, we will act as in alignment with our values, because to do so breaches our own trust. To trust ourselves means we won't desert ourselves when we make a mistake or fail, but stand by ourselves and hold our own best interests at heart. To trust ourselves means we believe in ourselves as being well intentioned, and capable of managing the choices we face.
None of this is easy, and it is not the only aspect of trust, but it must surely be the best place to start?
So how can storytelling help us learn to trust ourselves?
When we take the time to revisit our history, to craft memorable moments into stories and make sense of the experiences anew, we explore and reflect on the values and world view embedded in the story. That is the message of our story, the reason we think the story is worth anyone listening to and so in the process of crafting to share outwards, we reflect deeply and deepen our self knowing. This activity alone builds trust within, because we are validating and honouring our experiences, we are revisiting our values and acknowledging when we kept or failed them, allowing for a present day re-commitment to them.
And then there is all the trust work that comes with the sharing, the standing by our own side as we tell!
Trust is of course the basis of good leadership, and we'll look at this in the Storytelling for Women Leaders workshop Story Wise is putting on 20 - 21 March. More details here.
More and more I realise that the answer to life the universe and everything is not 42, it is STORY.
Storytelling to Build Trust is the topic of this months free lunchtime webinar on 9 March (https://www.storywise.com.au/webinars/
A few days ago I spent an hour or so coaching a 13 year old boy who told a story for the NIDA Nights event last Thursday. We had already had a session by Skype on Sunday and it was great to meet him and a pleasure to coach him.Read More
If wikipedia is anything to go by, there is a bit of dispute in the psychology community about the concept of Emotional Intelligence, with questions about its usefulness and even if it is an ‘intelligence’.
However despite the scientific and psychological argument,Read More
I’ve had a long standing fantasy of living off the land, and when I finally arrived at age 42, living on 6 acres just outside Melbourne I thought I had made it.
The fact that I had three kids under 9, a partner who worked in the city full time and had no interest in or aptitude for the outdoors, let alone gardening or animal husbandry
Nothing can substitute for doing when it comes to many things and storytelling is one of them. As the absurd saying goes, it goes without saying that the best way of learning how to tell stories is to tell them; have a crack, put your name in the hat,Read More
There is a delicate gossamer line between the action in a story, and the resolution of the story, and it is in this shimmer that the art of story lies.
The resolution of a story usually contains the message of the story, because it is here that the tensions within the story are resolved, one way rather than the other. Some say a story should speak for itself, and the listener be left to draw their own conclusions.Read More
There is much speculation about the origins of storytelling. Many books, blogs, articles, research papers and it turns out, videos for the British National Trust, seek to make the case for the centrality and significance of storytelling to human development. No argument from me there.Read More
I once met a woman who had been lucky enough to be invited to a storytelling evening in Melbourne. She explained that it was a private event, people hand picked for a communal dinner, with each person given time to tell a story.Read More
This story is very adaptable. it can be stretched or shrunk, and I have used it as a teaching tool for facilitators, changing the main character into a facilitator and the ax into her purse.
There was once a farmer who couldn't find his axe. He suddenly saw the boy from across the road and he though 'he looks like a thief and walks like a thief. I'm sure he stole my axe.Read More
A great story for communities, mergers, and encouraging positive mindsets about other groups and people.
During the gold rush, on the road between Ballarat and Castlemaine a woman and her three daughters keep a shop. The store was really managed by the three daughters as the woman was old and didn't have much energy.Read More
An old woman moved in with her daughter, son in law and their 4 year old child. Times were tough and the couple were struggling to make ends meet. The old woman was messy and needy and they got frustrated with her. Finally one day she broke a plate and the son in law said 'Enough.'.Read More
I love values, the essence of beliefs underpinning our way of viewing and responding to the world. I love naming, working with, talking about, aspiring to and understanding ourselves and each other better through values. Yes, totally nerdy, intense and meaningful.Read More