Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact

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9780814409145: Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact

Story telling is a powerful communications tool that is becoming more and more recognized in the business community. These stories are not the usual speech openers or ice breakers, but stories that will influence others to trust the storyteller and shape decisions and actions that are important to both individuals and organizations. As the author explains, we've been conditioned to believe that business communication should be clear, rational, objective, with no place for emotion or subjective thinking. Not true. The most powerful, persuasive communication has a human element: "Communication can't feel genuine without the distinctive personality of a human being to provide context. You need to show up when you communicate - the real you, not the idealized you.The missing ingredient in most failed communication is humanity. This is an easy fix. In order to blend humanity into every communication you send, all you have to do is tell more stories and bingo - you just showed up." This book teaches readers how to tell six kinds of stories. Part 1 explains how to shift from normal "business thinking" to story thinking. Part 2 describes the six types of story, and walks readers through the process of finding their own inspiring stories. Part 3 outlines five practical principles that maximize story as a tool to understand as well as persuade. Readers can also make journal entries to capture and develop story ideas. The book is - naturally - full of inspiring stories (some very funny). The style is lively and personal, yet eloquent and sophisticated.

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Book Description:

Most people have been conditioned to believe that business communication must be clear, rational, and objective, with no place for emotion or subjective thinking. Yet the most powerful, persuasive communication has a human element...often delivered simply and personally through the telling of stories.

This book shows readers how to use personal stories to get their ideas across and create meaningful connections between themselves and their audience. Moving beyond the usual speech-openers or ice-breakers, the book gives readers a process for finding, developing, and using their own stories, including how to:

* gain people's trust * use six different kinds of stories * shift from everyday thinking into story thinking * help shape group decisions and actions.

Filled with enlightening anecdotes, this practical guide gives readers the tools they need to persuade, inspire, and influence others through the power of story.

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CEO Refresher The Best Books of 2007

From the Inside Flap:

Most of us have been conditioned to believe that business communication must be clear, rational, and objective, with no place for emotion or subjective thinking. But great communicators know that the best way to inspire, motivate, and persuade others is to infuse a human element into discussions through the simple telling of stories.

 

Stories help people feel acknowledged, connected, and less alone. Your stories help them feel more alive. To realize the power of stories is both an incredible opportunity and an awesome responsibility. Filled with enlightening anecdotes and practical guidance, Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins helps you to understand and use that power. You will be able to craft your own personal experiences into stories that will build consensus, win others over to your point of view, and enable better group decision making.

 

The book gives you a process for finding, developing, and using your own stories effectively. You'll learn how to craft specific, intentional messages that get your ideas across using universal story structures, including:

 

Who-I-Am Stories—What qualities earn you the right to influence someone? People need to know who you are before they can trust you, so get personal. Reveal who you are, as a person, by telling a story about a time, place, or event that reveals that you have the qualities your audience seeks.

 

Teaching Stories—Certain lessons are best learned from experience—some of them over and over again during a lifetime. Telling a story that creates a shared experience will change behavior much better than offering advice.

 

Vision Stories—The prospect of a worthy, exciting future can help to reframe present difficulties as "worth it," turning seemingly huge obstacles into small irritants on the path to a worthwhile goal.

 

Values-in-Action Stories—Values are subjective. To some, integrity means doing what their boss tells them to do. To others, it means saying no, even if it costs them their job. If you want to encourage a value, tell a story that illustrates in action what that value means in action.

 

I-Know-What-You-Are-Thinking Stories—Sometimes, people have already made up their mind about the ideas you're trying to get across. It is a valuable trust-building surprise for you to share their secret suspicions in a story that first validates and then dispels their objections without sounding defensive.

 

People float in an ocean of data and disconnected facts that can often overwhelm them with choices. In this ocean of choice, a meaningful story can feel like a life preserver that tethers us to something safe and important—at the very least, to a trace of humanity that proves there is a "you" communicating with them, whether the "you" is yourself or an organization you represent. This important book helps you lay the groundwork for using story as a credible tool to connect with your audience, and create a meaning more powerful than mere facts could ever do.

Annette Simmons is president of Group Process Consulting, whose clients include NASA, the IRS, and Microsoft. She has been featured on CNBC’s Power Lunch and NPR’s Market Watch, and has been quoted in Fortune, The Washington Post, and other publications. She is the author of several books, including The Story Factor. She lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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