I am a huge James Bond fan. I still look forward to the new movies when they get released every few years and perhaps my favorite Bond film of all time is Goldfinger. From the theme tune sung by the incomparable Shirley Bassey to the iconic performance by Sean Connery, this movie has it all.
At the core of the plot is an attempt to irradiate all the gold bullion stored at Fort Knox. The scenes of vaults jam-packed with gold were breathtaking though I later found out that the real Fort Knox does not have any gold which I have to confess, was such a letdown.
This image of a vault full of gold bullion is a perfect analogy for something golden within each of us. The gold I refer to is the stories that come from our lives and experiences. What makes them so precious is that they are unique to us. No two people have the same stories.
Their preciousness is also wrapped up in the power of the story.
A story has the incredible power to connect us with other people. We know from advances in brain imagery that when we listen to another person’s story, the part of the brain that processes words are active – we expect that. What we did not expect was other parts of the brain that process action, smell, and touch were also active. It was as if we were actually there smelling, touching, or running. This led to our understanding that we just do not listen to the words of a story rather, we become part of the story and are immersed in it. It’s like a flight simulator.
Thus, when we tell stories from our experiences, people begin to relate to us in powerful ways. Think about the many conversations you have had in the past month. We probably forgot what was said in most of them. However, if a person told us a story about something that was happening to them, then we are much more likely to remember it.
I recently released my new book Leadership Lessons from the Pub and I really enjoyed receiving feedback from people who’ve read it. I always ask what part of the book resonated most with them. What has been most interesting in the answers I receive is the impact of the stories about my childhood growing up in Northern Ireland.
Knowing that this precious is a treasure within, it’s important that we become more deliberate in having a system to become more aware of it and enrich it.
For this week’s EQ workout, I prepared a way for you to create a story vault and bring to the surface some of the powerful stories of your life. It is also interesting to note that when you begin to look for stories in your past, you also become more aware of stories that are happening all around you on a daily basis. Try and take some time every few weeks to capture them. It will make your presentations and conversations come alive.
You may also like this YouTube video I recently recorded which explores how to improve your communication skills in the workplace.
You can buy a copy of my new book here