Telling Your Story Helps You Connect

Telling your story. That’s the goal. I’m hanging out with my staff (from Cedarbrook Church)  for 30 hours at a retreat center right now. The sole purpose of our retreat is telling your story to each other.

It dawned on me a while back that we know very little about each other beyond our daily office interaction.  But how can we fully appreciate where each person is coming from without more knowledge of one another? If we gain a bigger context for each person we’ll understand where we are coming from in day-to-day interactions. And that just has to help us value each other, communicate better and create a greater sense of team.

Brene Brown and Telling Your Story

We started our day by watching Brene Brown’s TED talk about the power of vulnerability. Then we piled in our van and headed north to about the remotest part of Wisconsin we could find.  They tell me we are nine miles from Minong, WI.  Minong. Doesn’t that look like a word with a few typos? Anyway…it’s remote. We are staying at the Heartwood Conference and Retreat Center. It’s a great setting to unplug and hang out with each other.

With a staff of nine we have already heard five stories today with four to go tomorrow. It’s a powerful time. Each person takes 30-60 minutes to tell how they got from birth to present day.  We can ask anything we want but they don’t have to share more than they are comfortable sharing. It’s amazing what we heard today already. I never would have guessed what I heard. It’s opened a whole new world of understanding for each person. I can’t believe we haven’t done this before.

Telling Your Story Creates Connection

I’ve been on a Brene Brown kick lately after seeing her videos last week. I downloaded her book called The Gifts of Imperfection and got half way through it last night.  Brown notes that telling your story takes courage but when you take the risk it  opens you up for people to move toward you with compassion and empathy. When that happens you connect. Connection is what you were made for. Connection is the source of joy and love.

I can see connection happening here already just after a few stories. I’m excited for the impact this time of story telling will have on our staff. I think it will overflow to our entire church. But it also makes me think of all the stories that go untold.  When our stories aren’t told then people don’t move toward us and connections aren’t made.  That’s a sad thing.

God didn’t make us to live in isolation but to connect. Story makes that  happen.

Question: Have you experienced connection from story telling? Or maybe you tried and it blew up on you. I’d love to hear about it. Leave your comment below.

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2 thoughts on “Telling Your Story Helps You Connect

  1. Sue

    I am a proponent of being vulnerable and sharing ones story. My trap came many years later when my “story” became what I thought was my ticket into people’s hearts. So now I am careful to share my story once they already know me and we have established a relationship, instead of using my story to earn my value. Hope that makes sense!

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