What’s Your Story?

Last week I attended a talk by BBC journalist Gavin Esler. The subject of the talk was ‘Lessons from the Top: The three universal stories that all successful leaders tell.’ He draws on encounters with people such as Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson, Margaret Thatcher, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton and even terrorists.

Of course everyone tells stories. How we come to be doing what we are doing today is a story, and it influences people. So it made me think about the stories that I convey as therapist and a trainer, and could apply to you too.

Esler identified three universal stories, namely:

1. Who am I?
2. Who are we?
3. What is our common purpose?

I’ve noticed that people want to hear a story from me such as “Why did you get in to this work?” or “How did you come across Hypnotherapy or EFT?” They also like to know who else will be attending my courses. In other words, “Who are we?” And thirdly, what will we be doing on the course? “What is our common purpose and what will I get at the end of it?”

Esler gave lots of examples of the “Who am I?” story from the many politicians that he has met and interviewed. A story can be conveyed in a few words, such as Margaret Thatcher’s description of herself as “A grocer’s daughter from Grantham”. That’s just five words that contained subtle power and influence. So when you are promoting your practice or workshops, what story are you telling? Can people believe in you? Will they feel part of your group? Do they believe in your common purpose?

Gavin Esler’s book on the subject is worth a read and is titled ‘Lessons from the Top: The three universal stories that all successful leaders tell.’