Life coaching: storytelling for introverts
Storytelling for introverts? I have an introverted client who came with a very interesting question. He’s very good at what he does, he’s a professional, knows the right things to say or ask inside of a meeting, but he’d like to build better personal relationships inside of these meetings.
I asked him first, “do you know of someone who’s very good at building a personal relationship inside a business meeting?” One of the examples that he gave was “well, there is this guy at work who tells all of these personal stories that everybody finds interesting or funny or engages with.” So I asked my client if he knew about himself or not that he was a great storyteller. Well, I was lucky because he was. He says, “but the trouble that I have is coming up on the spot with the story that I need to tell. It’s just simply not there.”
Of course I asked my client because he’s an introvert (he simply does a lot better in spending time by himself thinking and reflecting), what I asked him to do is to think of stories that he could tell that would be appropriate to build a personal relationship inside of a business meeting so he would have it more inside of his conscious awareness, so to speak.
But I did another thing. I also wanted to change his filter a little bit. Now if we keep in mind that we can’t consciously process the 2 million bits of information that we get bombarded at us at any given second, that we delete and distort and generalize all that out in order to only have 5 to 9 pieces of information that we actually notice, then we may actually have life go by and not notice where you’re experiencing things that would be an interesting story.
So, what I asked him to do is every single day to go through his day finding something that would be an interesting story to tell to someone else, based on which this other person can get to know him better from a personal point of view.
If that wasn’t happening for some reason or another, I wanted him to purposely create something inside of his day that would help him gather a whole bag of stories that would be hugely interesting to tell.