• Storytelling from Communication theory
• Group existence
• Using stories to create the future
• 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); Cronen (2001); Griffin (2009); Frey & Sunwolf (2005); IDEA (2010);
Pearce (2004; 2008).
• Video & audio narratives
• 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).
Narrating the Self
• Fosters individual identification
• Empowers the individual
Adapted from Denning (2005); Lipman (1999); McAdams (1993)
Narrating the Organization
• Intended to unify the group
• Constructs the experience
Adapted from McAdams (1993)
• Separate past from future anchor point
• Connect with the audience
• Allows audience participation
Adapted from Block (2009); Bruner (1991);
Lipman (1999); McKee (2003)
Assessing the Situation
What’s occurring in the organization?
• Understand internal risks:
changes in budget, layoffs, technology,
• Understand the risks of storytelling
• Storytelling requires courage
Design a storytelling workshop or retreat
depending on the hours an organization
wants to invest in this approach.
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)
• Workshop is 90 minutes to three hours
• Retreat is one to three days
• Content adjusted to meet allotted time
• Interval pacing
• Group activity interspersed with
presentation by trainer
• Breaks at 60 to 90 minutes
Participant Skill Level
• Allow for a diverse group
• Participants must be:
• Willing to participate
• Open to other perspectives & stories
Facilitator Skill Level
• Communicate clearly
• Familiarity with method and
• Aware of socio-psychological needs
• Ensure confidentiality
• Willingness to listen
• Engage feedback and participation
• Lead by example
Adapted from J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010); Rogers (1989)
• Story of I
• Story of We
• Story of Place
• Story of Future
• I Want
Adapted from Denning (2005); Gubrium (2009); Lipman (1999); Rogers (1989)
• Need at least two groups
• Break groups into a minimum
of three or four individuals
Prior 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
• Establish the level of confidentiality
• Maintain a positive atmosphere
• Participants should only present what they
feel comfortable sharing
Adapted from Block (2002); Campbell (2009); Lefer (2008); J. Albert (personal
communication, June 10, 2010)
Phase 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 Gurbium (2009); J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010)
Phase 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
Phase 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
Phase 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
Workshop Phases adapted from Denning (2005); Denzin (2003); Gurbium (2009);
McAdams (1993); J. Albert (personal communication, June 10, 2010); Silberman
and Auerbach (2006)
• 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 organization's expectations in mind
Intention of Storytelling
• Not a therapy session
• Empower the participant
• Improve moral
• Improve team dynamics & unity
• Only as successful as the participants allow
• Facilitators needs to lead by example
• Learn from the past & create a future
• Positive results include:
• Fosters dialogue
• Presentation & technical skills
• Boost morale
• Inspire beneficial change
• Engage heart and mind
• Gain understanding of culture &
the organization, teams & departments
Albert, J. (2010, June). Leadership story types. Course handout. Gonzaga University: Spokane, WA.
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.org
Denning, S. (2005). The leader's 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
Lefer, D. (2008, April). Both sides: Connie Rice lays down the law to cops and gangs. The Sun, 388, 3-11.
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 therapist's 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.htm
Silberman, 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/