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“. . . unto the least of my brothers. . .”

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

Expert Interview Series with John Mattone

I had the honor of fielding some interview questions from John Mattone recently about business storytelling. We got to talk about: how storytelling addresses common business and leadership challenges examples of

POSTS & PODCASTS

Lead With A Story

“Do the stories I tell at work have to be true?”

As a storytelling coach, I'm often asked, "Do my leadership or sales stories have to be true?" My perhaps surprising answer is, "No, they don't. You can completely make up a story you tell at work, but only under one condition. And that condition is that you tell your audience you made it up. Otherwise, you're just a liar and you'll eventually get caught. But a well-crafted fictional story, just like myths and folktales, can be a very powerful way to teach an important lesson, even though the [read more]

One Question That Led to an Innovation Breakthrough for Procter & Gamble and Can Do the Same for You

TIDE HAS BEEN the number one selling brand of laundry detergent in the United States since soon after its introduction in 1946. The main reason for that is that the chemists and engineers at Procter & Gamble are committed to improving the cleaning formula year after year. In the late 1990s, one of the improvements they were working on proved to be more interesting than most. According to former Chief Technology Officer Gil Cloyd, the challenge that year was a certain type of soil that was [read more]

Parenting with a Story

A Dying Mother’s Gift to Her Children

When I was fourteen years old, my mother was diagnosed with an advanced case of pneumonia. For four months, her doctors tried every treatment known to cure it, none of which had any effect. Then they realized why. She didn’t have pneumonia. She had lung cancer. They’d been misled by the strangely uniform and checkered pattern on the X-rays. By the time they had a proper diagnosis, it had progressed beyond their ability to treat it successfully. They gave her six months to live. At the still [read more]

4 Steps to Ending the Parent-Teen Control Battle

Neil Brown is a psychotherapist and author of the book Ending the Parent-Teen Control Battle. He joined me this week to share 4 steps to break out of the too-typical battle of wills parents have with their teenagers. He shared an all too familiar example of parents of teenagers who fall short of their school and home responsibilities because of their obsession with video games. He recommends an intervention that starts with a talk that covers these four ideas: Be positive. Recognize the [read more]

Sell With A Story

How to Fix That “Salesperson” Reputation That Preceded You

Humans have a habit of judging people before even meeting them -- often just based on what they do for a living. And unfortunately, just working in sales is sometimes enough to create rather powerful -- and negative -- preconceptions. And until you can get your prospect past those preconceptions, your job will be much harder than it should be. So, you can wait for months while those ideas gradually fade away when your behavior doesn't confirm them. Or, you can disabuse your buyer of those [read more]

Sales Story #8: Your “I’ll go to bat for you with my company” story

{The 8th in a series of the 25 most useful sales stories.} One of the types of stories you'll find useful in the rapport-building phase of the sales cycle is one to assure your prospect that, when necessary, you’re willing to go to bat for them with your own company's leadership. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should always cave in on every request from buyers. Although they might not complain about it, most buyers will admit that they wouldn’t respect a salesperson who did that. But [read more]