When was the last time you thought about “your story” –
- What it is?
- How it’s changed and evolved over time?
- How it affects your daily activities?
- How it influences your outlook?
- The ways it impacts your interactions with others?
- How it affects the way you are perceived by others and the way you are “received” by them?
QwikCoach has long valued and helped coach and mentor others to help them understand, accept, and value workplace diversity of all kinds — diversity encompassed in the unique stories each of us “writes” as we journey through life.
We’ve done this to help people appreciate the richness of the human experience and the contributions made by people . . .
Each with their own story . . .
Stories that are built word by word . . .
Sentence by sentence . . .
Page by page . . .
Chapter by chapter.
Stories that contain a rich set of experiences and events — some unique — some common and shared by others.
QwikCoach has also long held the belief that understanding and appreciating each other’s stories – our unique and shared experiences — is a great way to begin the process of building trust, understanding, and respect – behaviors that cement relationships and build the foundation for reflective and effective work environments.
For certain, there is value in tools like DISC and Myers Briggs as they help people understand differences of style and innate behavioral preferences. But these tools, and others like them, do not directly reveal the essence of who we are, what we’ve accomplished, or the challenges we’ve faced and overcome. Nor do they necessarily define our potential and proclivity to do good, help and inspire others, produce value, or contribute to the common good.
Enter the magic of story!
Each of us has one!
So – right now — take a time out.
Think about your story.
We mean it!
Take a few minutes.
Make the time!
Here’s How to Start
Consider the real “unvarnished” history of who you are and how you got to be the way you are, Consider the heartaches, the fun times, the mistakes, the triumphs, the mundane and the sensational, and experiences and exposure to ideas, people, and events that uniquely make you who you are.
Keep This in Mind
QwikCoach is not suggesting you write that story and circulate it to everyone you work with. However, while it might shock some, bore others, or seem hugely inappropriate to many; knowing your story would put YOU in a fresh light. Many might slap their head and think: now I get why she hates details or now I get why he seems angry all the time or now I see why my last comment got the reaction it did.
Remember: Giving others the ability to make sense of what otherwise might have been considered nonsense certainly makes sense!
What’s YOUR story?
The “Group Experience”
Some fortunate few have participated in small groups of people who share their stories in closed and private settings. For those who do, the impact can be life altering. These types of sessions require very sophisticated facilitation and insistence on privacy and can be time-consuming and costly, but they often provide a very powerful way to help people connect. Sharing stories can dissolve uninformed thinking — often divisive — and in its place build connecting tissue that bind people together in powerful, heretofore unimaginable, and singularly powerful ways.
Here’s another approach we hope you’ll try. If you do, we strongly believe that you will have a better and more respectful view of everyone you work with. Here goes . . .
- Write your story and keep it safe — somewhere totally private. NO – don’t post it on social media sites, send it around in a company email, or make it public in any other way – that comes later. It goes on your personal device or written by hand and stored away . Keep it safe. Share it wisely.
- Review it periodically and update it as your life experiences and thinking change and evolve.
- Keep your story in mind every time you interact with someone else – and feel it. Then remember everyone else has a story too.
- Don’t assume, don’t presume, just treat everyone as gently as their stories demand and deserve. Even if they’re not sharing their story openly with you, know they have one and that it’s as sacred and important to them as yours is to you!
- Then when you think it’s appropriate begin to share your story – in whole or in part — with others and encourage others to share their stories with you.
When you and your colleagues all do this, QwikCoach believes it will represent another important step to creating a more civilized, understanding, and effective workplace.