When I was learning to be a coach – yes I’m a fully qualified executive coach, with a certificate and everything – we were told that we must only pose questions, allowing our clients to come to their own conclusions about the best solution to any issues they were facing. This is probably one of the reasons I don’t practice as a coach: I’m rubbish at not offering up unsolicited advice. In fact, unsolicited advice is one of my strengths. But apparently unwelcome in a coaching relationship, and biting your tongue for a long time hurts.
But I digress; the fact is, you can take this whole question point one step further. It turns out that we actually learn best when we pose our own questions to ourselves. So imagine my delight when I realised that this is exactly what stories prompt us to do! When you tell a story, and leave it at the story, rather than try to make it into a lesson, people are left to draw their own conclusions about what it means for them. They naturally ask themselves how it affects them, what it means to them, and how it relates to them and their circumstances. How cool’s that?! The more stories you tell your customers, the more they’ll be figuring out how what you do relates to them. And so your blog, and the stories you choose to tell in become ever more important if you want to be the supplier that your potential customers choose.
The point I make about not making your story into a lesson is an important one. It’s very tempting to decide what you want people to take from the story you tell. The moral, the lesson, the conclusion. But people like to make their own minds up: they’re more likely to be put off than turned on if you tell them the conclusion they should be coming to. And even if they don’t mind, you’ve not left them anything to think about. You’ve not given them the gift of figuring out that you understand them, their problem, and how to fix it.
If you don’t think you have stories to tell, sign up for Sunday Sunshine. From this Sunday I’ll be including a story prompt or a blogging tip. I want your blogs to show the world how awesome you are; all you have to do is show up and write your story. 🙂