February 28, 2010
February 27, 2010
February 26, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 24, 2010
February 23, 2010
February 22, 2010
Are you currently facing challenges in communication, team building, resource development, fundraising or change leadership? Benefit from the power of story as a persuasive communication tool. Svend-Erik Engh -- perhaps the world’s greatest leadership and story coach -- and I are offering two programs in NYC before traveling to DC and opening the Smithsonian Institution Conference on Organizational Storytelling.
You are invited to join us at:
Motivate & Communicate through Story
Wednesday, April 14, 8:15 AM to 9:30 AM
Limited to 25 participants
StorySharing™: The New Communication Paradigm
Wednesday, April 14, 1 PM to 6 PM, plus optional dinner
Limited to 6 participants
This is a rare opportunity to re-discover and enhance your ability to harness the power of story to solve problems and achieve success. You will benefit from both my deep expertise in persuasive communication and organizational story elicitation and Svend-Erik’s mastery in crafting and performing stories. Svend-Erik is the author of Tell a Story: Be Heard, Be Understood, Get Action (Fokus). He has consulted with Microsoft Denmark, Maersk Container Industry, and Novo Nordisk, among other international companies.
Both programs will be held at Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan, 1230 6th Avenue at 49th Street. Details and registration here.
Discount for registration prior to March 1!
February 21, 2010
February 20, 2010
February 17, 2010
"The enteric nervous system uses more than 30 neurotransmitters, just like the brain, and in fact 95 percent of the body's serotonin is found in the bowels."
Scientific American reports on this, and other interesting findings from "the blossoming field of neurogastroenterology."
February 16, 2010
February 15, 2010
February 13, 2010
ScienceDaily reports, TV Drama Can Be More Persuasive Than News Program.
Researchers found that college-age women who viewed a televised drama about a teen pregnancy felt more vulnerable two weeks after watching the show, and this led to more support for using birth control.I was asked by a journalist to comment on this study. Specifically, might these
However, those who watched a news program detailing the difficulties caused by teen pregnancies were unmoved, and had no change in their intentions to use birth control.
The results show the power that narratives like TV shows can have in influencing people, said Emily Moyer-Gusé, co-author of the study and assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University.
"A message that is hidden inside of a story may overcome some of the resistance people have to being told how to behave," Moyer-Gusé said.
findings may also be applied to other cause-related messages?
Here is my email reply:
This study clearly illustrates the power of story as a persuasive communication tool. When a listener identifies with a protagonist, they can picture themselves in the situation. They have taken the details presented by the narrative and connected them to memories they already hold. They’ve fused the fictional with the real and created a new and personal understanding. What results is a sense of ownership over the situation and the outcome.
Every issue requires multiple stories so that multiple viewers and listeners can find a protagonist with whom they identify. This takes work, and it takes campaign directors who are willing to admit that they don’t possess the single answer; one message does not fit all. Giving up that kind of message control is difficult for many communicators. They believe the message which with they identify is the right message. Or, the message that tested best in a focus group is the best message. Focus groups don’t test internalization and application of a message. Story, whether fictionalized or real, is a powerful persuasion tool.
One problem with educational films and other materials, is that usually they are presented with a “right” and a “wrong” answer. Students are quick to comprehend with which protagonist they are supposed to identify. This stifles authentic discussion about complex issues. Adolescents, especially, are living complex lives and will benefit from being presented with multiple pathways into understanding of an issue.
Teen pregnancy, smoking, HIV infection – these all seem like obvious issues (just say no), but to a teenager, these are complex topics, encompassing issues of health, class, and peer pressure, for example. Story helps to make sense of that complexity. Understanding an issue through the lenses of a protagonist, perhaps a hero to whom the viewer can relate, can place complex issues into an understandable and actionable context.
February 12, 2010
This is not a polaroid (i.e., this is not an "instant" photograph made using a Polaroid instant camera):
February 11, 2010
The photograph, taken in our front yard around 5 PM yesterday, is:
February 10, 2010
"Perhaps most of all, readers wanted to share articles that inspired awe, an emotion that the researchers investigated after noticing how many science articles made the list....
"They used two criteria for an awe-inspiring story: Its scale is large, and it requires “mental accommodation” by forcing the reader to view the world in a different way....
"“If I’ve just read this story that changes the way I understand the world and myself, I want to talk to others about what it means. I want to proselytize and share the feeling of awe. If you read the article and feel the same emotion, it will bring us closer together.”"
Read the whole article to understand the title of this post.
February 6, 2010
February 4, 2010
Shawn recently wrote a terrific blog post, sharing and reflecting upon a story about Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (1807–73), a Swiss-born American zoologist and geologist.
Imagine that you went to Louis Agassiz’s laboratory at Harvard as a student. Agassiz would place a small tin pan in front of you with a small fish and utter the stern requirement that you “should study it, but should on no account talk to any one concerning it, nor read anything related to fishes” nor use any artificial aids like a magnifying glass until he gave you permission to do so. As one student said, “To my inquiry ‘What shall I do?’ he said in effect “Find out what you can without damaging the specimen; when I think you have done the work, I will question you”. Students kept telling Agassiz what they had found and Agassiz kept saying “That is not right.” This went on, typically, for 100 or more hours with the same now “loathsome” fish. Agassiz would keep asking “What is it like?,” “Do you see it yet?” and saying “You have not looked carefully” and “You have 2 eyes, 2 hands, and 1 fish”. Gradually, things would begin to change. One student replied to the professor’s query as to whether he had seen one of the most conspicuous features of the fish, the symmetrical sides with paired organs, “No I have not seen it yet, but I see how little I saw before.” Agassiz replied, “That is next best . . . now put away your fish, go home; perhaps you will be ready with a better answer in the morning. I will examine you before you look at the fish”. Another student reported the following experience: “I pushed my finger down its throat to feel how sharp the teeth were. I began to count the scales in the different rows, until I was convinced that that was nonsense. At last a happy thought struck me—I would draw the fish; and now with surprise I began to discover new features in the creature. Just then the Professor returned. ‘That is right,’ said he, "a pencil is one of the best eyes.”Shawn explained, "Agassiz (nicely told by Karl Weick on an article on richness) was acutely aware of the human propensity to name something, to categorise it, and then discover its properties vanish before our eyes. Once named we no longer need to attend to the details to work it out."
Refraining from labeling can help us to truly see an object or a situation. Shawn offers great advice on helping an organization tell their strategic story. I'm struck by the parallels to effective interpersonal communication.
I've written in the past about the dangers of assumption. And about the importance of being in the moment, and not making assumptions about the future. We want to be in control; we want to get to a comfortable place of knowledge, to assume we understand something in its entirety. Our eagerness to please may sometimes result from ego, and it may also result from a genuine kindness, and a strong desire to express empathy.
I've also written about the terrific work of Exhale, and Shawn's post got me thinking about what happens when someone is labeled A Woman Who Had an Abortion, or, A Woman Who Decided Not to Have an Abortion.
When we jump to label, we loose details such as context and emotion, details that are critical to true understanding.
February 3, 2010
- ► 2014 (44)
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- Story as a Persuasion Tool
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