Today a friend of mine asked me how to help his buddy break out of his shell. How to persuade him to put on a new thinking hat and look at things from a different perspective; basically, how to get an apple to think like an orange. It’s hard, yes I agree. The age old saying says that a leopard can never change its spots…But a leopard can learn new ways to survive in a new world!
How do you do it then? Remember when mum told us the story of the boy who cried wolf? When was it that our parents stopped telling us bed time stories? I know from my children clients that their parents stopped telling them bed time stories a long time ago, some never even did. In fact from what I gather from the parents, when it comes to the children’s education, topics such as maths and science a placed first before values and character building. No wonder so many kids these days turn out so bratty.
It is very much a pity because the art of story telling is as old as the human race. People told stories to entertain; People told stories to describe things that happened to them; People told stories to communicate. In fact, our brain excepts information from stories so much more easily than just information told straight to the face. We tell stories all the times, when we recount our days over beer, when we talk about old times over a meal, we do it all the time. But when it comes to dealing with communication issues, we just try and force feed the facts to the other party hoping that they will expose their necks in submission. I know because I suffer from that too, especially when it comes to little squabbles with your loved ones.
Well the secret is to tell them a story. Not when they are raving mad and their barriers are so high up. Just give in a little to let their moods get back to a neutral state. Then when their walls are shorter and their guards lowered, use the story to weasel your way around the wall and into their heads.
How to tell the story then? There are a few methods, the simplest being tell them a story of Mr A ( who so happen to resemble them in every aspect) who came across a problem and somehow solved it. Make your story as believable as possible and make it as clear as possible. A story that is too short lacks the drive to get past the wall while a story that is too long actually helps to build the wall. Use all sorts of material for your stories, such as success stories like Steve Jobs and Apple, Thomas Edison and the Light bulb etc etc. Just remember to keep it light hearted and easily acceptable. To help you on your quest to tell the perfect story, there are a few authors who tell stories that change lives: Paulo Coehlo (my personal favorite), Mitch Albom, Dave Pelzer, Napolean Hill etc etc.
Be creative, Be interesting, and, most of all, tell your story with life and as if you mean it.