I LOVE Stories…especially those that are about or based on true life. That may be why I like to read historical fiction, why I am a big fan of “Humans of New York” (HONY) and why I loved to listen to my Mom and Dad tell stories about our family and growing up. I am especially grateful to have my Dad’s home movies and recordings of my cousin interviewing my Mom and my Aunt about their childhood. Both of these have captured “stories” both visual and audio of my life and theirs.
I am also a big fan of TED Talks…they are usually someone telling a story based on true life. I had the chance to listen to Dave Isay present a TED Talk on Story Corps (a story about stories). While I had heard about this initiative and even seen the booth in Grand Central station, I was not aware of intent behind the project. Everyone does have a story and a story the world needs to hear.
This got me thinking about not just the stories of family and friends but the stories of those we work with, work for and manage everyday. What’s their story? Do we talk the time to ask and listen? Would we be better co-workers, direct reports and leaders if we did?
In today’s workplace, the stories and intimate details of someone’s life may be uncomfortable to seek out and at times not appropriate. However, if we pay closer attention to what people say and do; ask the right questions, are available to listen and don’t assume what the reason is behind someone’s behavior would we:
- Learn something new?
- Have a better relationship with our co-workers, employees and managers?
- Develop and retain our teams longer?
- Create a more supportive and enjoyable work environment?
- Be a better leader?
David Isay’s TED Talk shares his TED Prize wish: to grow this digital archive of the collective wisdom of humanity and achieve his vision of taking StoryCorps global.
Why not apply his vision to your workplace and capture the collective wisdom of those you work with?
What are your thoughts?