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Three years and  four months later

Three years and four months later

blog, post
Three years and four months ago, I wrote my first blog. All together I've written 295 posts. It wasn't a marketing decision. I didn't know my audience that well. Very few people were reading my blog. I didn't have a plan. I've started knowing my audience while writing. I've grown my list while writing . I've started working on a plan and my marketing while writing. This is what I've learned: You find the connection with your audience by telling the story.
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I’m someone’s daughter

I’m someone’s daughter

story
There’s nothing that bothers me more than waking up at 6.00 am with a story in my head.  I’m talking about the feeling that you absolutely need to wake up, grab your computer and write the words that are coming into your mind. Not only did I get the urge to start writing this morning, I also had the feeling that this was the wrong story, one I shouldn’t tell, one that shouldn’t go in my weekly blog. In bed the night before I thought “Tomorrow I’ll write a blog about the webinar on how to tell stories that create trust,” but in the morning I was grabbed by a story that was possibly the worst match for what I wanted to say.  That was my dilemma. Should I stay…
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Unnoticed

Unnoticed

story
My supermarket list is quite predictable. Every week I buy the same number of the items except when there’s an offer, then I buy four or five.  Last week it was strawberry jam; the week before, rice milk. The rest of the stuff that you find at the supermarket passed before my eyes totally unnoticed: marmite, milk, ice-cream, frozen burgers. Even if they were giving them away I wouldn’t have realized it. No matter what these brands do, they are not for me.  The most important question is and will always be ‘Who is this for?’ The price and the story evolve and interact with this primary question. Knowing who you are is intrinsically bound to knowing who you are for. These are not separate questions: it’s a dance, a…
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Who is telling the story

Who is telling the story

story, storyteller
This week I was working with someone in sales, helping him work on a story that would explain to his customers the value he provides. Listening to his story, we realised that the value was not exactly where he thought it was but rather somewhere else. After that “aha” moment the structure of the story changed, the rhythm changed and how it was told changed. It became more fluid, more natural, as if the story was growing stronger inside him as he became more confident. We tend to think that stories are something that we tell, but I’ve been wondering for a while whether stories choose us just because something needs to be told. If we are the vehicle through which certain ideas are expressed, contributions are made, mindset changes…
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Changed by the story

Changed by the story

change
Mauro We hear all the time that people don’t change easily, that change is difficult. Organisations engage in expensive processes to make change digestible, to help people understand the new agenda, the new software, the new structure, the new team. We all assume that change is difficult. Unless it’s driven by fear and presented as the only choice for survival. During the lockdown, millions of people were suddenly forced to work from home. No preparation, no adaptation period, no resources made available.  And the astonishing thing is that it worked, at least for some companies, which have reported that their productivity levels went up. In many cases it also had implications around loneliness and mental health, but it’s quite surprising that so many of the things we were taking for…
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What you tell and what they hear

What you tell and what they hear

communication
Rawpixel.com Most of our communication becomes a story. This may not be intentional at our end, but often the recipient creates a story out of what we’re telling her.  Imagine that someone in your team comes to you with an idea, and you say “Listen, this is a great idea, but I don’t think it’ll work right now because we don’t have the budget or the network to execute it, although I’m not saying I’m not open to hearing more if you can elaborate further.” This is a clear message: concise and polite.  However, somewhere in his mind your co-worker is thinking“Here we go again. He doesn’t like my idea. Every single time I come up with a suggestion I get the same kind of comment. He never takes my…
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The power of the ordinary

The power of the ordinary

stories
Picture Jan Valecka Michelle Obama is one of my favourite storytellers. She makes you feel as if you know her. You don’t need extravagant adventures to make a story interesting. When people connect with a story it’s because they see themselves in it.  What takes us into a story is not the extraordinary but the ordinary which, at its simplest, is humanity. And what makes Michelle Obama an amazing storyteller is how she can talk about some of the most important political moments in America in a very funny and down-to-earth way. The story is not in the facts but in the approach you choose. When Michelle Obama talks about their last day at the White House, you expect some sort of political statement, but she doesn’t go that route:…
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Ten unconventional benefits of telling business stories

Ten unconventional benefits of telling business stories

stories
Rawpixel.com 1. It prompts you to look at your business differently: to find your stories you need to ask your team and your customers different kinds of questions. 2. Asking different questions can reveal interesting and relevant information about your business that was hidden in plain sight. 3. Interesting and relevant information can lead to new projects and business decisions that can move your business forward by differentiating it from your competition. 4. Moving your business forward based on decisions and projects connected to your team and your customers’ stories creates a culture that people feel they belong to. 5. A culture where staff and customers feel they belong acts as a magnet for the right talent and loyal customers. 6. A business that people feel part of can create…
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Start with these ten questions

Start with these ten questions

questions, stories
Are you looking for your next stories? These ten questions can help your creative story skills. Why did you choose your job? Your most wired/difficult/challenging job interview  What was your first job, and how did it help you to become who you are right now? What did you want to do when you were a child, and how does that relate to what you’re doing now? What did you learn from your first boss or mentor? When was the last time you helped someone at work? When was the last time you decided not to pick a fight at work? How did you feel? Can you remember a time when you put in time, work or money without expecting any financial or personal return? What moved you to do this?…
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Strong vulnerability

Strong vulnerability

vulnerability
  Rawpixel Ltd A couple of weeks ago I was helping a group of successful, articulated and intelligent women to get started with stories at the workplace, and inevitably the conversation moved on to authenticity and vulnerability. The truth is that most of us are not trained to have honest conversations with our customers: we’re advised to keep a distance between ourselves and our co-workers, and told not to show emotion because it doesn’t look professional and to always keep an eye on our quota when in discussion with a customer. And on top of this narrative we’re also told to connect with our customers, create trust and make them feel that we don’t just see them as a number. It doesn’t add up. Connect without showing emotions Create trust…
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