Storytelling Workshop for intercultural practitioners
09/01/2020
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Working with Stories for global Leaders

Does leading across cultures feel like jumping into cold water? Why should leaders get familiar with Storytelling, Storylistening, and Storysharing?

Why should they care about stories they share with other people and reflect upon dominant narratives that interfere with introducing positive changes and innovation ? Because in the VUCA world of the 21stcentury we only can reduce volatility, uncertainty and complexity when we find courage to tell meaningful stories. Storytelling and story sharing are much more powerful than the exchange of data and facts. Without making sure the details on cultures we are sharing with our participants are meaningful to them we risk that they are going to be misunderstood and even misused. As Annette Simmons says: „A good story helps you influence the interpretation people give to facts. Facts are not influential until they mean something to someone. A story delivers a context so that your facts slide into new slots in your listeners‘ brains. If you do not give them a new story, they will simply slide new facts into old slots.“                      

In this interactive workshop you are going to get to know storytelling and story sharing practices as an important part of intercultural programs. There are many “worn off stories” in the intercultural field that are waiting to be replaced by new narratives. Do the stories we are sharing:

  • enhance mutual understanding across cultures? 
  • address the power and value of welcoming and hosting people of different origins? 
  • initiate positive changes? 

Stories can be a real eye openers, offer an opportunity for a perspective change and work as cultural bridges.“Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. 

Bearing in mind the danger of a single story, the workshop is designed as a learning journey, divided into three parts. You are going to experience the power of working with stories during: 

1. experimenting with storytelling activities, such as: 

  • the hero’s journey,
  • leader archetypes,
  • leadership moments,
  • zooming-in zooming-out visual storytelling.

2. conscious development of the storytelling mindset

  • an interactive input on the neuroscience of storytelling and corresponding coaching tools,
  • reflection on the dominant narratives and the worn-off stories,
  • re-authoring practices

3. sharing stories of intercultural encounters from the leadership perspective and the lessons learned.

  • application of the Intercultural Compass Tool
  • exchange of best practices

Objectives:

Getting to know the power of the narrative perspective and some storytelling activities, sharing stories and best practices, re-authoring narratives. All the methods and inspirations proposed in this workshop can be applied in the business context as well as in the university context (for exchange and domestic students wishing to deepen their intercultural communication skills). They work best during leadership programs, relocation coachings for leaders and intercultural programs for global leaders. Personally, I have applied all of the methods in groups consisting of up to fifty participants.