Blog Post

Tell stories to hear stories

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 29 September 2008



Tell stories to hear stories
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 100
Posted DateMonday 29 September 2008 19:28 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://www.greenchameleon.com/gc/blog_detail/eliciting_stori ... 

Like Patrick Lambe, I loved this story of telling stories to hear stories. Only wish I had thought of it when my children were younger. It's a great technique - well actually its not a technique at all - that would soon be seen through and is manipulative. What it is really about, is treating the person you are talking to with as an equal; not talking down to them or patronizing them. When you do that then you can have a conversation of equals.
When I see my teenage daughter after school I would often ask how her day went, whether anything interesting happened at school, and the standard response is often monosyllabic: yep, nup. In fact the more questions I’d ask the shorter the answers. So I changed tack and rather than ask questions I simply recounted something that happened in my day. I would launch into something like, “I met a bearded lady today. This morning I drove down to Fitzroy to run an anecdote circle for …” and immediately my daughter would respond with an encounter from her day. A conversation starts and it’s delightful.

Its also what I try to do in my knowledge cafes - ensure that everyone is an equal - there are no table leaders; no people nominated to report back. Everyone has an equal voice and this helps free up the conversational flow.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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