Peter Mohan has spent over 15 years working with leaders and teams in a wide range of business sectors, the power of 3 has shown up repeatedly. The power of 3 is used in all sorts of ways in our daily lives. The Rule of Three is a classic writing principle that states that ideas or stories presented in threes are more memorable to the listener. When creating stories, we are advised to think in terms of “beginning, middle and end”. Building on that advice, the 3-part structure set out below provides a useful framework if you are crafting personal story material for use as part of organisational communication:
This gives all the things the listeners need to know in advance so that they can make sense of the story and get its full emotional impact as well as gathering the meaning/value. The context typically includes:
- Where it is and the situation
- When it is
- The major characters that will feature in the story
Key elements to ensure story clarity for the listeners include the following:
- Clear thresholds between story segments (this will be limited given that in an organisation setting, you will probably be telling a short story)
- Strong images that the listeners can relate to
- Emotional contrasts and/or elements that will fuel curiosity in the listeners, this will help to make the story more engaging.
This brings the listeners back to the PRESENT moment and captures the value / meaning that you have taken from the experience and / or what you have learned from your experience.
In organisational settings, our communications can often be based on facts and reasoning. While facts can inform and arguments can persuade people, stories can engage both our thinking and our emotional brains and thus they have the potential to reach out and connect with people and inspire them. What’s more, people find it much easier to remember stories. The framework above can be a helpful reference for effectively using story as part of the communication efforts in your organisation.
If you would like to further explore ways of using story, please contact Peter Mohan at firstname.lastname@example.org or +353-87-2833925.