“I’m a rational person. I don’t do stories”

I’m a rational person too, and stories don’t come to me easily either. I like facts, I like precision, I like to know what I’m talking about. 

I have this conversation with many people.

Stories are emotional, yes, but stories are most of all a different way of looking, of connecting the dots and engaging with reality. 

The power of a story lies not in narrating the success of your clients or your company’s latest figures. It’s about the meaning of your work, about emotions, about finding a place where things make sense for you and for others. Difficult, isn’t it?

You can tell people that one of your clients got all these followers on social media or increased their sales after working with you but that isn’t a story, even when you add some colour. A story engages with impact, cares about the transformation and the human dimension of things beyond the results.

Let’s say you own a company that’s achieved great success in the last three years. The story isn’t so much about how you got all your customers as for instance how your company values creativity so much that you decided to say no to a couple of big clients so that you could develop projects that were true to your values.  And yes, it turned out that you were right.

The story isn’t about growing: it’s about how you grew by staying true to yourself. We all have a unique angle, and that’s where we can find our story. 

Describing what happens isn’t a story. Stories look for the how, for identity, for what matters to you and what you stand for. Without these there’s no story. Without these, you’re just another company talking about how you’ve increased your sales.

You can’t tell a story that you don’t own. When you know your values and what you stand for, you know your story.