Ashlee called to talk about her new assignment.
“I need to learn how to herd cats by Monday. Can you help me?”
I could hear the panic in her voice.
“That depends, are they domestic or jungle cats?”
I was hoping to lighten the mood a little.
“Hmm, maybe a little of both?”
After working together for years, Ashlee felt comfortable sharing her fears with me. She explained more about the situation. Her new assignment was stretching her skills. Her self-confidence was low.
I knew she had faced new challenges before with good results.
“Ashlee, do you remember when you first took over the process improvement project from Jeremy?”
With that one question Ashlee and I launched into a discussion about one of her successes in overcoming obstacles.
Through pointed questions about the situation, the people involved, the obstacles she faced, her approach, and the lessons she learned, I led Ashlee through telling her story.
Once she realized she had what she needed to succeed, she was ready for Monday.
The power of storytelling came to light in that one conversation.
I told this story as the introduction to my book Everyday Storytelling for Success: Change the Conversation to Improve Your Career and Life.
Over the years, I’ve had similar conversations with clients helping them identify obstacles, patterns, and ultimately solutions – all hidden in the stories from their past.
What story treasures do you have hiding in the events of your past?