Facilitating Story Ferrets

Facilitating Story Ferrets

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.

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The Dip, the Messiness and the Creative Process

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.

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Improv and the Courage of Impulse

Improv and the Courage of Impulse

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.

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Standing By Your Own Side, or Trust Begins at Home

Trust (1).jpg

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/