A friend is a storyteller. It is his job description, his version anyways. In a new role, I focus on business measures, dials, dashboards, and connecting people together. There are more abbreviations in the role than I knew were possible! The complexity, chaos, and potential keep leading me back to single point. My job is to teach each side how to communicate with the other. In short, I teach storytelling.
It is fun. I get to ask questions, lots of them. In addition to asking, I get to listen to the stories people tell. We can laugh, commiserate, and in one case argue about their stories. In the process, I find myself introducing them into their own stories. The ending is always a variation; I leave them with an invitation to tell their stories to others.
The surprising discovery along the way is how many good stories there are to tell. There is a lot of goodness in people that goes unnoticed. Sometimes it is because people do not know the right words to say. On other occasions, they feel like they are not appreciated for what they have already done. They live with a “why tell a new story when nobody listened to the old one” attitude. I ended up in an intense conversation over the last observation. After almost an hour, the individual believed I was impressed with his work, attitude, and capabilities. I really liked what he had done. I also thought he could do more. In my opinion, he had not reached his maximum yet!
I have come to appreciate how important storytelling is, for every organization and individual. In our stories, we see the past with hope. In our stories, we imagine the possibilities. Metaphorically, everything is fixed, the “orphans get parents, the homeless get homes. The reign of terror is over, the rule of the gang lords is ended.” (Psalm 10.18) In our stories, we discover our place in the family.
When I was introduced to my story, it was for me a defining moment. I hope you discover yours.