Storytelling is something that we witness almost every day. It can come in the forms of books, movies, and even office jokes. Storytelling is ingrained into our everyday lives and everyone loves a good story, even if we have a preferred style of storytelling – some of us love visiting the opera, whilst others may prefer a pantomime.
Now we have a story of our own, that puts in to perspective the way that many of us approach our working day or week…
Lisa, a working mum took two highlighters to work for the coming week and used these to shade in her diary. She shaded some appointments green for boring, others yellow for energising. Unsurprisingly, meetings, listening to presentations, reading reports and attending statutory training were shaded green for dull and de-energising.
When she reviewed her week, 80% of her time would be spent attending tedious activities. Lisa compared this to the energy and enthusiasm of her 6-year-old daughter, Amy. Her days were full of laughter, ideas and discovery. Why shouldn’t Lisa’s work be more like Amy’s day?
Not content to live a life dominated by ‘green’ engagements, Lisa decided to try to turn her diary yellow by seeking out stories.
As a result, she restructured the agenda of her weekly meeting and imagined it was a movie. She identified the perils, plot and ensured that the discussion concluded in a happy ending. She continued by challenging the finance director to replace spreadsheets with stories in his monthly presentation and, rather than read the pile of reports on her desk she visited each of the authors and asked:
· What challenges did they want to overcome?
· What could get in the way?
· Where could they end up?
Not only was she able to switch some of her diary from green to yellow but Lisa also felt more energised. Tough problems had been solved, exciting new initiatives launched and the team morale was higher than she’d ever known.
Don’t sit and mindlessly make it through your work week. Instead, seek out the stories and re-energise your mind.