The Work that Stories Really Do

Last week I was reminded why and how stories work. Stories are a defining part of what makes us human and how we build communities

My life in Seoul is fantastic. One of the best things is the stories I get to hear. Because we have two distinct communities, the Korean and the Foreign, we get double the story dose. I love that I get to hear such a diverse range of stories almost everyday.

So today, a quick post about three story events from last week.

Event 1. Lego Serious Play – Creating instant stories that show who we are

Building and sharing stories by attaching little plastic bricks – deconstructing that!!

Last Wednesday, I was part of the Lego Serious Play Demo Day hosted by RDi Global. Eric Wan and Gordon Dudley were fantastic hosts. But the real stars were the stories created by the participants. Every single person produced stories on the spot. Each of these stories gave insight into each other, and built community among groups of people who had just met. By the end of the evening there was a real feel of joint experience and belonging. All created through stories.

Event 2. Rugby World Cup Charity Dinner – Retelling stories to bond us around common values.

Of the 4 people in this photo only 1 had heard of all three story tellers on the stage. Still by the end of the stories, we all felt part of a special community.

Last Friday Mihee and I went to the 2019 Seoul Rugby Charity Dinner. Simon Walsh, Nick Goodman, Tobias Jerling and the rest of the team hosted three world cup winners; Rod McCall, Israel Dagg and Joel Stransky told stories about their rugby careers and their respective World Cup victories. Many of the people among the 200+ had never heard of the three players before the dinner. But this didn’t stop the bonding around the stories. Rugby values of hard work, mateship never giving up and looking on the lighter side of life shone through. Joel’s inside stories about how Nelson Mandela used the World Cup and the Springboks to help unite the country were also amazing. On her Insta account, Mihee’s comment was “I haven’t a clue what’s going on, but I love.” summed it up for many people. They were unable to processes the stunning power of stories to bond a 200 hundred people.

Event 3. OK, not really an event – but still bonding through stories. Rob Flemer’s wedding drinks.

So many of these people in the photo had just met that evening. But then they shared stories and viola – bonds were formed.

To wrap up the week, I went out to meet some friends for Rob Flemer’s wedding drinks. This group shared some amazing food (ok meat) provided by David Allore. The group bonded over bad jokes and middling stories. Some new some old. But by the end of the evening a little community had formed.

What does all this mean?

As I journaled on Sunday about how I felt about the week, it really came home to me why I have chosen this path. Helping people understand the power of stories is the most satisfying thing I have ever done.

Have a great Thursday



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