photo by: pointlessxnostalgic
I’ve met a few good storytellers in my day, whether they were telling personal stories or trying to convince me of something, they all had common elements. The story teller made me feel like I was a part of the story and that it somehow directly affected me. The story was thought provoking, interactive, and relatable. A good story wills you to action or at least prompts further investigation of the topic.
Story telling can be used to make someone feel satisfied with life or to convince them that there is more out there. In this way social workers use the art of story telling to accomplish all kinds of things. We could use a well told story to convince decision makers to vote or think in a way that promotes social justice. We could use stories to justify the allocation of resources or the need for more within an agency. It could be as simple as making the public aware of an issue. A good story can mobilize people and cause them to share the story with others.
A simple example of how a social worker used story telling while training new employees seems to be appropriate for this blog topic. My intern supervisor was explaining the challenges of working with patients suffering from dementia to new employees. She illustrated the challenge by having the employees list every step that they take to get ready in the morning. It sounds like a simple task but it soon became clear that dementia could cause you to put the open coffee creamer back in the fridge, use the restroom without pulling down your pants, or to get in the shower with your bedroom shoes on. This simple exercise allowed the new employees to see the world through the eyes of someone with dementia.
As I prepare to launch a social media campaign I find myself analyzing what types of stories draw me in and hold my attention. One of the keys to good story telling is to connect with the audience in a meaningful way in order to give them a glimpse of your world or cause. A good story is deeply felt, whether it be happiness or another emotion. I realize that not all stories appear to be relatable on the surface. This is why it is important to have a succinct and appealing title or description. People are bombarded all day with stories so if you expect to capture their attention you will need to put some thought into your title. I found this link that Dr. P posted about story telling to be very insightful. I do not normally equate corporations with story telling but that is exactly what they are doing when they present products to the public. Get Storied gave me a lot to think about professionally and personally.