[Ep#211] The Power of Stories: Building Extraordinary Connections, Trust, and Empathy

The Power of Stories: Building Extraordinary Connections, Trust, and Empathy

My guest today says, “You can’t and won’t please anyone. The most freeing question you can ask yourself is “Whom am I ok disappointing?”   

Joining me on today’s show is Karen Eber. 

Karen Eber is an author, leadership consultant, and keynote speaker. Her talk on TED.com: How your brain responds to stories – and why they’re crucial for leaders has almost 2 million views.  

As the CEO & Chief Storyteller of Eber Leadership Group, Karen helps companies build leaders, teams, and culture, one story at a time. She works with Fortune 500 companies like GE and Microsoft, guest lectures for London School of Business, MIT, and Stanford, and contributes to Fast Company. 

Karen is a former Head of Culture, Chief Learning Officer, and Head of Leadership Development at GE and Deloitte. She has a popular TED Talk and is publishing The Perfect Story: How to Tell Stories That Inform, Influence, and Inspire with HarperCollins October 2023 

On today’s show, Karen is going to share:  

  • How stories create amazing connection, trust and empathy.   
  • Why we shouldn’t leave our emotions behind at work. They are the heart of decision-making.   
  • The most important story you tell is the one you tell yourself.   

LISTEN NOW:

WATCH NOW: 

RESOURCES:  

KEY TOPICS:

Topic: The Importance of Connecting Through Stories

  • Use interactive exercises to show rather than tell
  • Demonstrate different interpretations with a Rorschach ink blot 
  • Highlight the importance of digging deeper into data with a bar chart
  • Challenge assumptions about incomplete assignments and procrastination

Topic: Building Trust and Empathy Through Stories

  • Guide people through data for informed decision-making
  • Personal experiences and emotions have impact on understanding
  • Change the starting point of a discussion with simple data
  • Overcome hesitancy to publish or finalize creative work

Topic: Authenticity and Trust in Storytelling

  • The importance of genuine connection between storyteller and listener
  • The role of empathy in building trust and releasing oxytocin
  • Create a chemical change that increases trust through storytelling
  • The value of authenticity and avoiding manipulation in storytelling

Topic: Overcoming Fear and Embracing Vulnerability

  • Feeling vulnerable and nervous about sharing personal stories
  • Accept that not everyone will like your story, and that's okay
  • Focus on connecting with the majority of your audience
  • Identify the group you are speaking to and acknowledging potential misunderstandings.
  • Let go of the fear of negative feedback and connecting with those who appreciate your story

Topic: The Power of Storytelling in Leadership

  • Shape culture and motivating people through storytelling
  • Persuade leaders and influencing others through stories
  • The impact of storytelling on learning, thinking, and energy

Topic: Overcoming Hesitancy in Creative Work and Storytelling

  • Fear of sending in a book preventing knowledge of its potential
  • Neurological response to personal challenges in storytelling
  • Understanding discomfort as normal and not a weakness
  • Finding clarity and freedom by considering the audience and potential disappointment

Topic: Taking Action and Perfecting Your Story

  • Understand that not every story will have the desired impact
  • Embrace an experimental mindset and testing smaller pieces
  • Believe in your message to overcome discomfort
  • Take action and actually telling stories to create motivation

Topic: The Role of Emotions in Decision-Making

  • The research of neuroscientist Antonio Damasio
  • Subconscious storage of emotions and experiences in decision-making
  • The influence of subconscious processes and emotions on choices
  • Rationalization of decisions occurring at a conscious level

HIGHLIGHTED QUOTES:

The Power of Stories: “So it cannot be any doubt in their minds that stories can be so powerful.”

— Karen Eber 00:06:1200:06:18

“Making up a story”: Misguided advice or creative solution?

— Karen Eber 00:07:5200:07:53

Building Trust in Storytelling: “If you tell a story that's based on mistruth and you get found out that completely or creates mistrust and you'll need to do a lot of work for people to start to trust you again.”

— Karen Eber 00:10:5900:11:11

“The Impact of Facial Expressions on Trust: ‘Because her face isn't moving.'”

— Karen Eber 00:18:5900:19:00

The Importance of Community Education in Women's Health: “She has seen women simply dying due to lack of community education.”

— Karen Eber 00:20:1500:20:19

The Hesitancy to Publish: “And when we dove deep into the mindset about why they didn't finish and have it sent to the editor was, what if I publish it? Or what if I send it to my editor? And the editor comes back and says, this is no good because it's so personal.”

— Karen Eber 00:23:1100:23:26

The Importance of Storytelling: “And it's not just what you leave in, it's what you take out and then how you express that.”

— Karen Eber 00:27:0900:27:14

The Power of Emotions in Decision Making: “The most important story is the one that we tell ourselves, talking about emotions and that work, they're at the heart of decision-making.”

— Karen Eber 00:28:4300:28:51

“Connecting and Sharing Stories: Our story can also bring hope and possibility for others as well.”

— Karen Eber 00:36:2800:36:33

“Becoming a Trusted Authority in a Crowded Marketplace”: “You've positioned yourself as the choice versus just a choice for your dream client.”

— Karen Eber 00:37:0800:37:13

About Karen:

Karen Eber is an author, leadership consultant, and keynote speaker. Her talk on TED.com: How your brain responds to stories – and why they’re crucial for leaders has almost 2 million views.  

As the CEO & Chief Storyteller of Eber Leadership Group, Karen helps companies build leaders, teams, and culture, one story at a time. She works with Fortune 500 companies like GE and Microsoft, guest lectures for London School of Business, MIT, and Stanford, and contributes to Fast Company. 

Karen is a former Head of Culture, Chief Learning Officer, and Head of Leadership Development at GE and Deloitte. She has a popular TED Talk and is publishing The Perfect Story: How to Tell Stories That Inform, Influence, and Inspire with HarperCollins October 2023 

Contact Karen:

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YOUR SAY:

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2023-09-01T04:41:40+10:00

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