We are a storytelling culture.
You and your people tell stories all day long. You tell a story by the way you dress. You tell a story by the way you greet your family members or friends in the morning. The way you sit in meetings. The way you interact with clients. And every time you hit that send button on social media that blasts out into the world.
The messages we send and the stories we tell shape the environment and experience we live. The cultures we help create in our lives and work are cultivated by the way we think, act and interact. How we think about ourselves, the people around us, and the culture we aim to create has a massive impact, in positive and negative ways.
People who have told themselves for years that they are inadequate, unlovable, or somehow less than those around them, see that play out in how they live in the world. Each negative event reinforces that story.
A person who tells a story of possibilities often sees opportunities in areas where most others see only roadblocks.
A couple who constantly tell the story about the “glory days” of when they first started dating or their first years of marriage often get stuck living in the rearview mirror of their life rather than out the windshield of the life they want to create now.
In companies and organizations, the way you think and the stories you tell permeate the culture. Teams who live into the story that “it’s all about the numbers” eventually erode relationships and generally dehumanize the people around them.
Teams who tell the story that “success is tied to the authenticity of the relationships we make” tend to have people who appreciate the others around them. Teams that tell themselves “it is possible” tend to take risks, find optimism in the midst of failures, and discover solutions others might miss.
The thoughts we tell ourselves, the stories we perpetuate, and the messages we share with those around us set the temperature for the culture we experience. What stories do you tell yourself? What stories does your team tell? What messages are you spreading in the world?
Jason V. Barger is a globally celebrated keynote speaker, leadership coach and author of Thermostat Cultures, Step Back from the Baggage Claim and ReMember. He is founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting, a Columbus-based company that works with businesses and organizations worldwide. Connect with Jason online at www.JasonVBarger.com, via email at jason@JasonVBarger.com or on social media at @JasonVBarger.
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