What’s in a Story?

A little bit about Annette Simmons

Annette discovered the power of storytelling as a group intervention during graduate school. Attending workshops and hiring professional storytellers as coaches she refined her storytelling skills and studied the psychological impact of stories. She delivered her first course in storytelling in 1998 as a leadership training course for government executives through the Office of Personnel Management. Annette continues to provide leadership training, keynote speeches, and web delivered training in the areas of storytelling, dialogue and overcoming turf wars. She also accepts a limited number of engagements facilitating dialogue with intact groups

The Big Secret ... Do you know it?
  • #1

    4 ways to find your story

    In the beginning, finding good stories is difficult.  If only because your brain keeps saying, “I can’t tell stories.” or “I’m not a storyteller.”  Trust me; if you are breathing you tell stories.  The problem is that on a ba...Read More

  • #2

    A Time You Shined

    This kind of story is about something good that happened to you. If you are communicating a quality like integrity, a value like compassion, or a learning situation, these stories will tell about a time in your life when it would've been ea...Read More

  • #3

    A Time You Blew It

    This is about a time when something bad happened and it was your fault.  Sharing a personal failure, flaw, or embarrassing moment means that in the trust dance, you trust them enough to go first. When you go first, you get the ball rolling...Read More

  • #4

    A Mentor

    The third kind of story could be your personal memories of an important person in your life, or the important impact a historical or famous person had on you. Share an experience via story about that person that brings him/her alive with de...Read More

"Build a Community"

Help the people around you share stories, remember their mutual humanity and rekindle the joy of collaboration. (And stay in touch!)

  • 1

    Who I Am

    Who I Am Stories

    What qualities earn you the right to influence this person? Tell of a time/place/event that provides evidence that you have these qualities. Reveal who you are, as a person. Do you have kids? What were...Read More

  • 2

    Why I'm Here

    Why I Am Here Stories

    If you wish to influence, regardless of your objective, you are asking for a person’s time, money, or resources.   We were taught in “Sales 101” that answering the WIIFM--"What's In It for...Read More

  • 3

    Vision

    Vision Stories

    An exciting future story reframes present difficulties as "worth it." Big projects and new challenges can be difficult and frustrating particularly for people who weren’t in on the decision-making proc...Read More

  • 4

    Values in Action

    Values in Action Stories

    Values are subjective. Integrity may mean doing what your boss tells you to do, or saying no even if it costs your job. This is why the only way to communicate a value is by example (best), or ...Read More

  • 5

    I Know What You Are Thinking

    “I Know What You Are Thinking" Stories

    People like to stay safe. Many times they have already made up their mind, with specific objections to the ideas you bring. They stop you before your presentation and tell you, ...Read More

  • 6

    Teaching

    Teaching Stories

    Certain lessons are best learned from experience— but much of the time you can’t manufacture an experience for someone.  When the experience of failure is too expensive or disastrous to endure –...Read More

  • 1

    Storytelling is Developmental

    "Story works because a story lets people come to their own conclusions vs. reporting your conclusions.  A story travels through A, B, C, D, and then E instead of pushing a concludion ‘E’ when they have no context, haven’t gone through their...Read More

  • 2

    Oral Language uses more channels

    "If you are “of two minds” about an issue and are forced to publicly endorse something that makes you uncomfortable.  OR…if you want to sound confident but inside you are thinking “I’m not good enough,”  then your words may say one thing and...Read More

  • 3

    Intention - The Most Important Thing (M.I.T)

    "Who you are and why you want to influence matter more than your words, strategy, presentation, or how much time you have.  Any distraction than pulls you away from you core message makes you less effective.  OR feeling confused about which...Read More

  • 4

    Images need sensory detail to stick in the mind

    "When you tell a story that has a dog.  You don’t need to say what kind of dog, what color of dog, or how big the dog is.  Every listener has a dog they can use for that story.  Say the detail is a box (above).  Despite the fact that my image...Read More

  • 5

    Participation vs. Control - Inverse Relationship

    "If you want a story that will “make them see” once and for all, that you are right, you have missed the point.  There are many points of view, you look at mine and I might be willing to look at yours.  But if you over control a story, it makes...Read More

  • 6

    Who is the beneficiary?

    "Telling a story because you want people to listen to you as influential as sleeping gas. Telling a story that moves people requires that you tell the story for them, for their benefit, they are the beneficiaries.
    ...Read More

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