The art of storytelling is now widely espoused as a critical leadership tool. And I think that we can all see the value in being able to tell a compelling story.
Understanding how to learn from the stories of others, and our own stories, is the other side of this coin. If we can effectively reflect, then we can get the most out of our own stories and the lessons that are being passed to us from the stories of others.
As always, I encourage an embodied way of learning and knowing. This means that we’ll use our heads, but we’ll pay attention to the sensations that are coming up in our bodies.
When hearing a story, does the story create a feeling for you? Or is it not landing at all in your body? (When this happens, sometimes it’s timing. We’re not always ready to learn from each and every story. Or sometimes it’s just not a story that we’re going to have a take-away from.)
If it does create a sensation, dig a little deeper.
Does it feel like freedom? Openness?
Does it feel comforting, or comfortable?
Does it feel uncomfortable, prickly, or slimy?
Notice your emotional response. Acknowledge whatever feelings come up, and where you’re feeling that sensation in your body.
Now, tease out the meaning. This is not an analytical exercise, but a creative one. Let yourself be open to whatever comes through for the next few prompts, uncensored.
Ask yourself why the story evoked those emotions and feelings for you?
How are you connecting to that lesson personally?
What does it mean for your life moving forward?
After I do this exercise, I like to write myself a few notes so that I can remember the lessons and takeaways.