In a recent article in Fortune magazine, HR head for Pepsi, John Berisford, said: “I often ask one question, whether I’m interviewing a senior-level executive or a campus person: Tell me your story… It’s the best way to get to know the entire human being.”
I can personally attest to this simple fact. I’ve been researching how work works for over two decades. Mostly it doesn’t work. And I’ve got lots of data to back that up. In the books I’ve written and in the keynotes I given, when I get raves is almost always because I’ve told powerful stories that made that data come to life and be meaningful for people. And when I bomb is when I try to hammer the data into their heads, sans stories.
Storytelling matters. It’s hard-wired into our DNA. It’s how we make sense of the world and share our views, our experiences and what truly matters with others.
How would you respond to Berisford’s request: Tell me your story? Do you have different versions? A half-hour version? A five minute version? A 140-character version?
Tell me your story.