Building Community Through Better Relationships

Listen to One Story

Tell a Story

“Patience is the most necessary quality for business, many a man would rather you heard his story than grant his request.” Lord Chesterfield, an 18th century English merchant said this. He was right then; he is right today! Everyone has a story. And, valuable connections result from listening to these stories. In fact, great stories continue long after the storyteller has left. By listening to one story, the right story, lives can change. But, for the story to maximize value, both the speaker and listener must benefit. The problem is too few people listen which limits the value. So, what exactly happens when the right individual listens to the right story?

The Power of Knowledge
Recently, I participated in a conversation with a local celebrity and a business colleague. The local celebrity casually shared personal challenges that had derailed his career. He had just met me, and knew my colleague mostly by reputation. Yet, he confided in us. We listened patiently, encouraging his alternate plans. We had no right to judge. Frankly, we were flattered that he shared a fairly intimate story. The celebrity’s story radiated power because it was personal and life-changing. The listeners absorbed the story’s power because they honored his confidence. Hopefully the celebrity will be comfortable trusting in the future, in turn transferring more power to additional listeners. They will benefit from his previous, weaker decisions. Despite the fact that we could not solve his problem, nor grant his request, our listening amplified the power of his knowledge. The story made a difference.

The Power of Trust
As this celebrity continues to trust more, he increases his outreach and influence. Trust inherently amplifies credibility, resulting in value creation. Good ideas are easy to get. However, executing them is hard which is why they are valuable. As trust builds, people share more, then do more. Listening to one story strengthens the bond between storyteller and listener. It becomes easier to tell another story. The result is even more power for both the audience and storyteller. In this case the celebrity summoned his power to impact additional lives. As listeners, my colleague and I can manifest additional value as we trust, then share our stories resulting in additional individuals’ improvement.

Sharing a story, receiving feedback and embracing validation paves the way to reproduce value creation. Each shared story strengthens personal bonds, resulting in greater accomplishments. It is synergistic. A storyteller conquers her inner fear. Listeners, in turn, overcome greater external threats! Additional listeners do not really need details. The audience simply needs permission to transfer trust that a shared story can build relationships and personal confidence. Embrace that responsibility. Tell a story. Then, listen to one. Give someone you newly trust permission to share your power!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter and Beyond


September 2, 2015 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments