April, 2019 | Published by Anecdote - Putting Stories to Work.
Welcome to the April edition of Anecdotally! Each month we share three things: a story, a storytelling tip, and an interesting article. We hope you enjoy this month's content!
Reading time for this issue: 4 minutes
A STORY: Rolling stones to hidden gems
This month, we're revisiting a story Mark shared in Episode 021 of our podcast, Anecdotally Speaking. The story can be shared to help teams understand that conflict can play an essential role in the creative process.
You can watch Mark retell this story in 160seconds by clicking on the image below.
To listen to the entire episode, and to learn where to use this story, click here.
A TIP: The best sellers use story-triggering
Shawn bought a new car this month. The experience prompted him to write The best sellers use story-triggering. Story-triggering is what occurs when someone does something so remarkable that the people who see, or experience it, tell stories about it.
When Shawn decided to buy a new car, he was interested in three different models. So, he arranged a test-drive of each model at three different dealerships.
The first two test-drives were unremarkable. Shawn drove each car for about 15 minutes while a salesperson sat in the passenger seat, sharing some facts and figures about the car.
The third test-drive was different. Viet, the salesperson, asked Shawn if he could drive first and show Shawn some of the car's features. Shawn agreed but was shocked when Viet lined the car up with a parked BMW and placed his foot flat on the accelerator.
The car gained speed slowly. It seemed to recognise the obstacle. Though Viet's foot remained on the accelerator, an alarm sounded and the car came to a smooth stop some distance from the parked car.
Viet's demonstration triggered a story for Shawn. He left feeling excited about the car, impressed by the experience, and eager to share the story.
He soon decided to go with the car Viet had shown him. He couldn’t put it out of his mind. When he told Viet’s manager how great the demonstration was, he wasn’t surprised. Viet is his top salesperson.
To read the entire blog post, and to learn more about story-triggering, click here.
AN ARTICLE: The human brain is a time traveller
TheNew York Times recently published The human brain is a time traveller by Steven Johnson. The article explains how scientists discovered “the defining property of human intelligence”.
In 1991, participants involved in a brain activity study were asked to sit in a chair and do nothing. The scientists involved in the study, including Randy Buckner, did not anticipate the brain’s resting state being more active than the brain’s active state.
Buckner discovered that “In our resting states, we do not rest. Left to its own devices, the human brain resorts to one of its most emblematic tricks, maybe one that helped make us human in the first place. It time-travels.”
Imagine it’s late evening on a workday and you decide to go for a relaxing walk around your local neighbourhood. Your mind is free to wonder. You might think about your plans for the weekend, and imagine how they’ll pan out. You might think about a problem you encountered during the day, and wonder whether you made the right steps to fix it. You might think about how that problem will impact you tomorrow. As you anticipate and relive these events, you feel fear and hope, disappointment and pride. Meanwhile, your brain has made several trips into the future and the past.
In these moments, our brains create and retell stories. They establish chains of events which occur at particular times and places and involve characters. Storytelling is a core part of our brain function.
The article states, “A growing number of scholars, drawn from a wide swath of disciplines — neuroscience, philosophy, computer science — now argue that this aptitude for cognitive time travel… may be the defining property of human intelligence.” We thrive when we plan for the future. Even agriculture, for instance, relies on our concept of the future.
UPCOMING EVENTS: The US, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia
20-22 May | Washington, USA ATD International Conference & Exposition
23 May | Washington, USA Storytelling for Leaders
18 Jun | London, UK Storytelling for Leaders
20-21 Jun | Amsterdam, NLD GTD Summit
21 Aug | Auckland, NZ Storytelling for Leaders
29 Oct | Melbourne, AUS Storytelling for Leaders
30 Oct | Melbourne, AUS Storytelling for Sales
13 Nov | Sydney, AUS Storytelling for Leaders
14 Nov | Sydney, AUS Storytelling for Sales
For our complete 2019 events schedule, information and tickets, visit our events webpage.
Don't forget to register for the second installment of Shawn and Victoria Wards' free public webinar series, A Conversation on Stories at Work. We will go live at 3:00 pm Central Daylight Saving Time (US and Canada) on May 8.