Storytelling with Shared Emotions

I advocate using a word of emotion in organisational storytelling.

For example, notice the difference when I say

Statement 1 : ” I ran a project in India and the project failed.” 

Statement 2: ” I ran a project in India, the project failed and I am devastated.” 

Just because I have added the word devastated, you will now think that I must have worked very hard on the project and that is why the undesired outcome has made me feel devastated.

Despite advocating the use of an emotional word to make your stories stick, I have thought hard about why do I have to advocate what must come naturally to us?

Saying, it was a devastating moment when it made you feel like that should be natural, isn’t it ? But, a false definition of professional behaviour in a corporate setting informs stripping of emotions.

So, I thought I had achieved the desired outcome by telling people to use a word of emotion to bring humanity back in to our language.

But then, I had people come up to me and ask me why would anyone care for my emotions? If I say, “I was disappointed, how does that matter to anyone else?” Yes, in a self obsessed world where given an option people would like to get a me mail and not an email why would anyone care for others’ emotion.

To avoid this trap, a storyteller can make use of shared emotions which sound like this, ”  It was a very frustrating for us. For me and for you.” The story you choose to tell must have an emotional connection for the audience because no one really cares about your emotions alone.

If self relevance is super glue of attention, then shared emotions are a super glue of connection.
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