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“When we tell stories our whole brain is engaged and so is the brain of our listeners…”

This month’s interactive session was run by Dr. Ron Passfield and Organisational Psychologist, Maria O’Leary.

Ron started off the session by having participants tell a Melbourne Cup story in pairs.  He then debriefed this experience in terms of what was going on for participants at a conscious level, e.g. recollection, exhilaration and connection.

Maria then focused on the unconscious by giving the group a short explanation of the way our brain works.  She demonstrated how neuroscience findings explain why storytelling is such a natural and powerful tool and motivator for cultural change.

Maria's Brain Drawing

The Three Regions of our Brain

Ron continued by discussing several different Storytelling Processes that can be used by organisations to encourage cultural change, including:

–         Appreciative Inquiry Interview
–         Visioning
–         Turning Points
–         Story Circles
–         Metaphor and Fairy Tale
–         Sociodrama
–         History Trip
–         Future Search
–         Appreciative Inquiry

Everyone was then asked to participate in an “Appreciative Inquiry Interview” activity – allowing the group to understand the power of using one of these Processes and giving everyone a chance to tell their own story.

Many of the group were happy to share their experiences with using “storytelling” for cultural change and, once again, this open exchange became a valuable part of what everyone took away.

Our breakfast seminars have always been interactive and open sessions with the facilitators not only encouraging discussion, but allowing the group to feel comfortable enough to share their own stories.   Thus, over the last twelve months of Breakfast Seminars, we have been able to build a learning community through storytelling.

More detailed descriptions of the Storytelling Processes (and illustrating stories) are provided in the presentation handout that we have made available for download.

If you would like to learn more about storytelling for cultural change, then please feel free to contact us to discuss the best way we can assist your organisation in this area.

Download the presentation here: How to Use Storytelling for Positive Cultural Change


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