The Power of Storytelling

This 17-minute feature had me enthralled.

You see… I *love* great speakers – especially those that are able to deliver ideas in a way that makes the common, uncommon. You know what I mean? It’s those people who bring you to the edge of your seat and have you locked in when they speak (like this guy).

That’s what Jay O’Callahan in his talk on “The Power of Storytelling” did to me…

I hesitated (momentarily) before posting this one. Why? Well, I thought: “How will this benefit coaches and basketball types?”

There was no question that I’d share it with those in my inner circle. Those, that is, who generously amuse my idiosyncratic slant for pulling from other art forms and ‘coaching’ contexts. But… would others like it too?

2 Reasons I Shared This

I’m still not sure. Let me tell you why I ended up sharing it…

  1. BE A STORY-SELLER: I think all things involve sales. It’s a life skill. (Admittedly, one that’s a development area for me!) Think about it though…. You need to get buy-in from your players, boss, client, students, wife, kids (INSERT: whatever you’d like)… there’s a salesmanship to it. That’s what the best do so well. They get buy-in. They’re delivering the same message that you and I are delivering, but the result is different. If you’re looking for a way to get better buy-in. Watch the video.
  2. LISTEN. APPRECIATE. SUGGEST (INQUIRE): O’Callahan said something that spotlights a problem we as coaches often fall prey to: criticizing. As he says… “leave it to ignorant and stupid to just point out the fault.” It’s easy to criticize. Anyone can do that. It’s doesn’t take a genius. In fact, by its very definition alone, it means to ‘indicate faults in a disapproving way’; according to my dictionary. O’Callahan poses a different framework of listening, appreciating and suggesting.

Observe. Assess. Communicate.

Taking it a step further, the notion of moving between listening/appreciating/suggesting directly connects to being a teacher-coach. Twisting the thought a bit, think: Observe… Assess… Communicate.

To assess is to evaluate. Assessment requires one to remove judgement. Instead, you’re observing and fact-finding. The last phase is involves being able to communicate. And, inherent in effective communication is the capacity to receive information. That is, to listen generously for understanding. Follow that with the power of storytelling and we’ll all be well on the right path.

“50% of what we know is wrong; the problem is that we do not know which 50% it is”

—Tim Nokes

Let’s explore new possibilities together. Observe…. Ask the tough questions… Listen generously… Sell your story.