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A 6-Minute Guide to Storytelling with Data: The “How We Got Here” Method

Can you tell stories with data like you can with words? Absolutely! In the video above, I'll show you one of my two favorite methods for doing that. Have a look, and then try it out yourself. If you'd rather read, see

Unto the Least of My Brothers: The Unforgettable Stranger I Met in a California Hot Tub

It wasn't the experience I expected twenty minutes earlier when I stepped into the hotel hot tub. I stopped to pause on each step for a few seconds to get used to the heat. I looked up at an almost full moon and a

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Lead With A Story

My 6 Favorite Leadership Metaphors and 2 Methods to Create Your Own

When my then son Matthew came home from his first day of fifth grade, he announced, “I’m going to learn to play the euphonium!” I said, “That’s great!” Then I sheepishly added, “Uh, what’s a euphonium?” In response, he just matter-of-factly said, “It’s like a small tuba that makes higher notes.” All I had left to say was, “Well I can’t wait to hear you play!” I had no further questions about the instrument. Despite never having heard of a euphonium, I now knew exactly what it looked [read more]

Long-Term Strategic Planning Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Sometimes a long-term vision is so lofty or so aggressive it comes across as an unachievable dream, instead of a realistic vision. If that’s the case with your vision, congratulations on having such a worthy idea! But if people don’t believe your vision will ever happen, they won’t be motivated to help you deliver it. If you're in that situation, this story might help. In early 2010, I was asked to help lead a multidisciplinary team tasked with recommending a long-term strategy for Procter [read more]

Parenting with a Story

“Is that really what I need to be happy?”: How one Summer in Bombay Changed Me Forever

Ami Desai Mathur was born in New York, a first-generation natural-born American citizen. Her parents were born in India and immigrated to the United States after getting married. During her first few years of life, Ami spent half the year living in New York and half the year in her aunt and uncle’s home in Bombay, India visiting family. Even after she started going to school, Ami and her mother traveled to Bombay for a few weeks every year or two until Ami graduated from high school. The home [read more]

The Shared Blanket: Life’s Most Important Lesson in a Single Story

Imagine you had to pick a single sentence to encapsulate all of the world's knowledge about how we humans should behave. What would it be? What one statement could capture several millennia of history's best thinkers, philosophers, and prophets on the topic of ethics and morality? I think you'd be hard pressed to do better than this: Treat other people the way you'd like to be treated." The Golden Rule. And that's probably why we call it the Golden Rule, and why it shows up in just about [read more]

Sell With A Story

Defending Your Price Without Negotiating

{The 18th in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories} One of the final, and most common objections buyers have to what you're selling is price. So, if you’re at the point that you’re negotiating price, congratulations. You've got a prospect interested in what you’re selling, and you’ve probably resolved every other objection they have. Of course, most salespeople have an explicit method for negotiating price. And if you've got one, and it works, great. Keep using it. Storytelling [read more]

Resolving Objections with a Story

{#17 in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories} As most salespeople have learned, the real selling doesn’t start until the buyer says no. That's why there are all kinds of methods salespeople use for handling objections. Some of the more popular ones are:   LAIR: Listen, Acknowledge, Identify Objection, Reverse It) LACE: Listen, Accept, Commit, Explicit Action) LAARC: Listen, Acknowledge, Assess, Respond, Confirm), and FFF: Feel, Felt, Found And some sales [read more]