Great times. Reunions. Happiness. Tears of sadness and joy. Great food. Gifts. People you love. People you kind of love.
During the Christmas season, families will gather and talk about old times. Growing up, vacations, past holidays. They all start out, “Remember the time that…” and they go on to tell a funny or poignant story. These stories can be gold for you.
In your presentations and meetings, telling and exchanging stories should be at the core of rapport, relationship building, and creating a learning atmosphere.
These golden lessons and stories are all around you, and many of them fit your leadership situations, and relationship-building process. Real stories authenticate you. They make you more human, more approachable, more relatable, and even (if the story is right) more trustworthy.
Here are some strategies and details of story collecting by master sales trainer Jeffery Gitomer; the full article is here.
- Get the stories rolling - start by asking everyone to tell their most memorable story.
- Listen with the intent to understand (this means don’t interrupt) - listen for incidents where a lesson was learned; take notes – you will never remember everything without taking notes
- As the stories are being told, listen for the lessons behind the endings
- Often the lessons are the result of something extreme
- Get the story to fit into your presentation - to overcome an objection or create common ground
- When retelling the story, keep it short and sweet – 1 or 2 minutes if you’re telling it one-on-one; 2 or 3minutes if you’re telling it to a group
- Don’t set it up, just tell it
- Tell it at the right moment – you’ll know – don’t force it
- Put passion into it
- Make your point at the end, not at the beginning
Stories are yours – no one else can tell them.
How will you go listening for stories this Christmas?