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Putting Stories to Work Paperback – March 18, 2016
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Top Customer Reviews
It was a compelling read and I was keen to find every opportunity to read more. Like on one particular day when I was about half-way through, I built my morning around having a late morning coffee and squeezing in another chapter. Well, I went to the local coffee shop and what should I find? My wife and her friend had planned to go to a different coffee shop for their catchup but it was closed so ended up to my surprise in the café I had snuck into. I was compelled to be sociable and chat to them and was denied my read of Putting Stories to Work!
I’ve been a bit of a student of business storytelling the last decade to try to improve my own communication ability and I thought I’d acquired a reasonable amount of knowledge – but now my understanding of the subject, its potential and the skills and practice of storytelling has been significantly enhanced. I was taking a lot of notes as I read. It’s a subject that every leader should know and this book is a must as the resource to guide you in enhancing your ability to implement strategy, lead change and increase sales and service. It will allow you to tap into the very human condition of gathering and sharing story. It’s one I am highly recommending to my friends and clients.
The entire book is written in an easy to understand way, yet carries tons of depth, and is a pleasure to read. He shares six leadership applications of stories, helping leaders grasp “why” business storytelling is so critical. In addition, Shawn focuses on oral storytelling as the most effective and easiest to use vehicle for getting results. Plus shares how oral storytelling generates the all-important “triangulation of meaning”, which is essential for leaders to understand.
I love that Shawn has included lots of research about storytelling to demonstrate its credibility, often tracking down popular myths in the field and either finding the original supporting research, or bursting the bubble of falsehood.
I’m grinning when Shawn tackles “The Uncanny Valley” of business storytelling. This is where too much information about storytelling gets in the way of being effective. So true! Yes, it’s all about the KISS principle (keeping it simple sweetie), and he helps us keep it that way.
In addition, Shawn provides the reader with an easy to understand for working with storytelling in business.
There is a lot more to enjoy about Putting Stories To Work. Don’t delay. Grab your copy and start digging in. The mysteries of great business storytelling will be solved, you will gain a depth of understanding to enrich your work, you’ll walk away knowing what to do next, and you’ll have a good time reading it.
I've met Shawn about 8 years ago in London on a training storytelling for business, and he walks his talk. The book aligns with the theory we both adhere: stories can be found anywhere, they are the fractals of society. For me the eye opener was that you never get good stories asking ' what or how'. The best stories emerge when asking the 'when , where, who' questions. I'm actually using this 3-angled approach more often than the golden circle, because the real why emerges from when,where and who... Thx Shawn for the consistent hard work to make your work evolve into this great book!
Examples of story types are provided to cover numerous scenarios but for me, this book's strength is in showing you how to build a repertoire, from which you use and hone your own stories to suit various situations. You'll find plenty of exercises to improve your storytelling including easy, subtle ways to get you started ... kudos to the author.
I enjoyed this instructive book "walking its talk", telling stories along the way to illustrate the content making it easier to remember. This helps craft our vital messages into stories that will "stick in the minds" of those we wish to influence - individuals or entire organizations.
We know that significant influence flows to great communicators, and nine times out of ten these people tell great stories. Learning how to put stories to work will change your life - learning this from one of the greats (Shawn Callahan) has changed mine.
As we say down-under - "Do yourself a favor!" and buy this book!