February, 2019 | Published by Anecdote - Putting Stories to Work.
Welcome to the February edition of Anecdotally! Each month we share three things: a story, a storytelling tip and an interesting article. Before we do, don't forget to register for Shawn and Victoria Ward's first free public webinar, A Conversation on Stories at Work. The webinar will go live at 8:00pm on March 6th (AEDT - Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne). We hope to see you there!
Reading time for this issue: 3 minutes
A STORY: Dolphin kicks out number one
This month on our podcast, Anecdotally Speaking, Shawn shared a story contrasting Michael Phelps’ record breaking swim in the 400m Individual Medley Final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and his swim in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics.
You can watch Shawn retell this story in 260 seconds by clicking on the image below.
To listen to the entire episode, and learn where to use this story, click here.
A TIP: Three simple ways to improve your sales pitch
Here at Anecdote, we help sellers improve their performance by using storytelling as a selling tool. Over the years, we’ve identified three simple ways you can improve your sales pitch:
Build connection and rapport: share a small connection story that demonstrates who you are and what you care about.
Practice: start practicing the pitch early in the process and it will improve dramatically and rapidly.
To read more about improving your sales pitch, click here.
AN ARTICLE: Sense and sensemaking
Yiannis Gabriel recently wrote and published Sense and sensemaking: A short introduction. The article explains how we make sense of events and was inspired by the anchorperson of a BBC television program, who confessed “that journalists were failing in their duty to help the public make senseof current events.”
According to Gabriel, when we encounter unusual events or experiences, we try make sense of them “by linking them or earlier experiences or placing them in plots that can be readily recognised, in short turning them into stories”.
Sensemaking is an ongoing social process, where people “trade stories and interpretations, absorb, contest or reject each other’s stories, and frequently end up co-constructing or sharing them.” Sensemaking also prompts action, as “our actions emanate from the sense that we make of different situations”. Plausibility is more important than accuracy.
When we fail to make sense of events, we have a singularity, an event with no precedent or story. Singularities make us feel anxious, confused and resourceless.
Storytelling can be used in business, as it can in journalism, to ensure others can make sense of what we are saying and to eliminate singularities. We can thereby prompt conversation and action.