Nourishing and building teams in times of change with Story Wisdom
Last few weeks clients have invited me to engage with leaders and teams to explore how we can inspire and communicate with each other whilst coping with a Pandemic. In the current context, resilience- the ability to adapt positively and bounce back, is key to navigate the crisis and uncertainty. As a storyteller and a psychodrama practitioner I have time and again experienced the power of stories to build courage, hope and connection. Hence, I have been offering virtual Story Wisdom circles – a process of using traditional stories to deepen team bonds and create empathetic, resilient work culture in these times.
There are three ways traditional stories and storytelling can develop resilience:
First, sitting back to listen to a story can be a very gentle and artful way of tuning into to our inner life. In this quietening, reflecting on what is and the way forward can be a creative and healing experience at the same time. Stories ground us.
Second, images in traditional stories offer us symbols to create new meaning of our experience. Do we view our adversity as a problem or as challenge? A story can offer us hope, a new lens to view our own response to the world at hand and also invite us to think in new ways. In times of uncertainty, this ability to imagine new possibilities allows us to respond in new fitting ways. Stories unlock our imagination.
Third, traditional stories create a safe backdrop to invite personal experiences to be shared in a group. When we share and listen to these personal stories in a group, our neurons fire together thereby facilitating bonding. sharing our experiences as stories allows us to shape who we want to be in the story of our lives and lets us to appreciate our agency in our own lives. In letting ourselves be seen both in our vulnerability and strength, we invite others into a space of authentic engagement. Stories build connections and inspire.
The whole experience of the Story Wisdom Circle results in the team becoming a refuge for each member, for after all -
"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand." - Karl Menninger
Pic Credit: Tomas Malik, Pexel