Storytelling as a Consulting Tool

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Dena Rosko, Keegan Spera, Kendra Marshburn, Leah Mow, Matt Oxford

June 2010
Gonzaga University

Published in: Career, Business, Technology
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Storytelling as a Consulting Tool

  1. 1. Communication &Leadership Frameworks • Symbolic-Interpretive (SI) • Social Cognitive (SC) • Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) Adapted from Altman and Taylor (1973, cited in Caputo, Hazel, McMahon, & Dannels, 2004, pp. 110-111); Bandura (2001); Cronen (2001); Griffin (2009); Frey & Sunwolf (2005); IDEA (2010); Pearce (2004; 2008).
  2. 2. Storytelling FrameworksDigital Storytelling • Video & audio narratives of participants • Empowers the participant • Allows for team building/understanding • Participants choose the topic Adapted from CFDS (2010); Gubrium (2009); Halpern and Lubar (2003); Rulun (2010); The European Graduate School (2010).
  3. 3. Storytelling FrameworksNarrating the Self • Fosters individual identification • Empowers the individual Adapted from Denning (2005); Lipman (1999); McAdams (1993)
  4. 4. Storytelling FrameworksNarrating the Organization • Intended to unify the group • Constructs the experience Adapted from Denning (2005); McAdams (1993)
  5. 5. Storytelling FrameworksNarrating Change • Develops organizational identity • Establishes visions, goals • Inspires change (turning points) Adapted from Bruner (1991); Denning (2005); Denzin (2003); Maruska (2004); McKee (2003)
  6. 6. Consulting ApproachUsefulness • Separate past from future anchor point • Connect with the audience • Allows audience participation Adapted from Block (2009); Bruner (1991); Lipman (1999); McKee (2003)
  7. 7. Assessing the SituationWhat’s occurring in the organization? • Understand internal risks: changes in budget, layoffs, technology, conflicts, etc. • Understand the risks of storytelling • Storytelling requires courage
  8. 8. Consulting Method Design a storytelling workshop or retreat depending on the hours an organization wants to invest in this approach.
  9. 9. Design questions Adapted from Denning (2005); J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010)
  10. 10. Design ObjectivesPurpose Increase team unity and morale through a relations-based method that requires self-disclosure, self-awareness & empathetic understanding Adapted from J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010); Rogers (1989)
  11. 11. Design ObjectivesTimeline • Workshop is 90 minutes to three hours • Retreat is one to three days • Content adjusted to meet allotted time
  12. 12. Design ObjectivesPacing • Interval pacing • Group activity interspersed with presentation by trainer • Breaks at 60 to 90 minutes
  13. 13. Design ObjectivesParticipant Skill Level • Allow for a diverse group • Participants must be: • Willing to participate • Open to other perspectives & stories
  14. 14. Design ObjectivesFacilitator Skill Level • Communicate clearly • Familiarity with method and presentation technology • Aware of socio-psychological needs • Ensure confidentiality • Willingness to listen • Engage feedback and participation • Flexible • Lead by example Adapted from Denning (2005); Gubrium (2009); Lipman (1999); Kouzes & Posner (2003); Rogers (1989)
  15. 15. Design ObjectivesStory Typology • Story of I • Story of We • Story of Place • Story of Future • I Want Adapted from Block (2002); Campbell (2009); Lefer (2008); J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010)
  16. 16. Design ObjectivesGroup Size • Need at least two groups • Break groups into a minimum of three or four individuals
  17. 17. WorkshopPrior to conducting the workshop • Encourage participation through sharing in a public setting • Adaption to private settings • Adaption to mass audiences • Inform participants of desired outcomes • Preparation of own stories • Visual Aids incorporated into video Adapted from Gurbium (2009); J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010)
  18. 18. WorkshopGround Rules • Establish the level of confidentiality for participants • Maintain a positive atmosphere • Participants should only present what they feel comfortable sharing Adapted from Gurbium (2009); J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010)
  19. 19. WorkshopPhase 1: Introduction & Explanation • Facilitate a safe & relaxed learning space • Introduce the method of storytelling • Present examples • Explain the Seven Elements • Describe the conceptual framework & benefits behind personal narratives Adapted from Denning (2005); Denzin (2003); Gurbium (2009); McAdams (1993); J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010); Silberman and Auerbach (2006)
  20. 20. WorkshopPhase 2: Co-create Content • Restate ground rules of respect • Provide an example that empowers participants with courage • Break into small groups • Reiterate the Seven Elements • Actively listen and respectfully comment on stories when complete Adapted from Denning (2005); Denzin (2003); Gurbium (2009); McAdams (1993); J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010); Silberman and Auerbach (2006)
  21. 21. WorkshopPhase 3: Transition Content to Digital Process • Create a written script • Consider feedback from peers • Create stories as a group or individually • Brief tutorial of digital image editing • Instructions & tips about voice recording • Remind participants practicing will achieve competency • Allot a time frame for completion Adapted from Denning (2005); Denzin (2003); Gurbium (2009); McAdams (1993); J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010); Silberman and Auerbach (2006)
  22. 22. WorkshopPhase 4: Finished Product • May be necessary to help complete digital story editing • Invite participants to share stories • Transition session to closure • Share what was learned • Seek feedback from participants • Suggestions for improvement • Conclude the workshop Adapted from Denning (2005); Denzin (2003); Gurbium (2009); McAdams (1993); J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010); Silberman and Auerbach (2006)
  23. 23. Ethical implications • No repercussions for sharing • Establish confidentiality rules • Consider immunity clauses • Information only viewed by a select group • Always gain permission from participants to share any information • Keep organizations expectations in mind
  24. 24. Intention of Storytelling • Not a therapy session • Empower the participant • Improve moral • Improve team dynamics & unity • Only as successful as the participants allow • Facilitators need to lead by example Adapted from Denning (2005); J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010); Kouzes & Posner (2003)
  25. 25. Conclusion • Learn from the past & create a future • Positive results include: • Self-awareness • Fosters dialogue • Presentation & technical skills • Boost morale • Inspire beneficial change • Engage heart and mind • Gain understanding of culture & the organization, teams & departments
  26. 26. ReferencesAlbert, J. (2010, June). Leadership story types. Course handout. Gonzaga University: Spokane, WA.Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: an agentic approach. Annual Review of Psychology, 51, 1-26.Block, P. (2002). The answer to how is yes: Acting on what matters. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.Block, P. (2009). Community: the structure of belonging. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler.Bruner, J. (1991). Self-making and world-making. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 25, 1, 67-78.Campbell, S. (2009). I want... In J. Stewart (Ed.), Bridges not walls: a book about interpersonal communication (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Caputo, J.S., Hazel, H.C., McMahon, C., & Dannels, D. (2002). Communicating effectively: linking thought and expression (3rd ed.). Dubuque, IO: Kendall/Hunt.CFDS. (2010). Center for Digital Storytelling. Retrieved June 16, 2010, from http://www.storycenter.orgDenning, S. (2005). The leaders guide to storytelling: mastering the art and the discipline of business and narrative. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Denzin, N. K. (2003). Performance ethnography: Critical pedagogy and the politics of culture. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Gubrium, A. (2009). Digital storytelling as a method for engaged scholarship and anthropology. Practicing Anthropology, 31(4), 5-7.Halpern, B.L., & Lubar, K. (2003). Leadership presence: dramatic techniques to reach out, motivate, and inspire. New York: Gotham.Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement (IDEA). (2010). Social Cognitive Theory (SCT). Retrieved June 21, 2010, from http://www.idea.org/page110.htmlKouzes, J.M., & Posner, B.Z. (2003). Credibility: How leaders gain and lose it, why people demand it. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Lefer, D. (2008, April). Both sides: Connie Rice lays down the law to cops and gangs. The Sun, 388, 3-11.
  27. 27. Maruska, D. (2004). How great decisions get made: 10 easy steps for reaching agreement on even the toughest issues. New York: AMACOM.McAdams, D.P. (1993). The stories we live by: personal myths and the making of the self. New York: Guilford.McKee, R. (2003, June). Storytelling that moves people: a conversation with screenwriting coach Robert McKee. Different Voice. Harvard Business Review, 51-57.Rogers, C. (1989). On becoming a person: A therapists view of psychotherapy. New York: Houghton Mifflin.Rulun, Z. (2010). Is an ethics of economic activity possible? Retrieved June 16, 2010, from http://www.crvp.org/book Series03/III-14/chapter_viii.htmSilberman, M, & Auerbach, C. (2006). Active training: a handbook of techniques, designs, case examples, and tips (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Pfeiffer.The European Graduate School. (2010). Arts, health, & society: about. Retrieved June 16, 2010, from http://www.egs.edu/arts-health-society/about/

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