This week, I had the opportunity to connect with a guy named Shawn Callahan. Shawn founed and directs a consulting firm based here in Melbourne called Anecdote. He specialises in storytelling and he teaches this skill to leaders and business owners around the world (check out his work here).
We met up at a cafe in West Melbourne and chatted for an hour or so.
The conversation varied from what we are both currently doing in business and life, to how we can use storytelling to create change.
Working in the fitness industry, I believe that using stories to connect with people is the way we can break the mold and stand out.
Rather than reeling off the fantastic features of the gym you work in, or the amazing benefits that training can give potential clients, the way forward is to tell stories.
Stories about the people in your community. Stories about transformations of those you serve. Stories of vulnerability, courage and learning.
This acts as an effective vehicle for communication by letting us connect with the person telling the story.
When we hear a story, we resonate with it. With the actual events that unfold (and the challenges faced), or with the message or learning that comes at the end.
It makes us think about our own narrative.
“How are we living? Is it similar to this story? If I like what I’m hearing, can I follow the same path?”
This is a far more effective (and fun) way to engage. It gives us the opportunity to express our humanity in business.