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双语:努力成为一个会讲故事的人

2015-03-30    来源:财富网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

从“有故事的人”成为一个会讲故事的人:你的沟通技能将从此爆表

每一位领导者都是有故事的人,但并不是每个人都擅长讲故事,都懂得故事本身蕴含的巨大力量。相较于令人昏昏欲睡的数据和各种假大空的职场套话,讲述你自己的故事不仅能建立信任,还能激发员工想象并拥抱一个更加美好的未来。

“To be a person is to have a story to tell.”
“一个人就是一段故事。”

——IsakDuneson
——丹麦作家爱莎克•迪内森

In previous articles on this blog we have shared our experience regarding the use of storytelling as one of the most powerful leadership tools available to modern leaders. It’s really no surprise, since leaders throughout the ages have used personal stories, parable and anecdotes effectively to ensure that listeners could easily absorb and integrate information, knowledge, values and strategies.
在这个专栏打头的几篇文章中,我们已经分享了一些现代领导者如何将讲故事作为一种最强大领导力工具的经验。这并不出奇,古往今来的领导者都曾使用个人故事、寓言和轶事来帮助听众有效地吸取和整合信息、知识、价值与策略。

Beyond merely understanding the power of stories, however, there remains the need for specific action and commitment to become a storyteller. I hear people say: “Sure, I can see your point about telling stories…but do I really need to make the effort to become a storyteller myself? It doesn’t seem to come naturally to me.” My answer is always something like: “Yes, I understand. And there was also a time when walking, reading and writing, typing and using a computer program seemed unnatural. But when you clearly understood ‘why’ learning these skills was worth the time, you simply got busy and did it. Right?”
除了要懂得故事的力量,我们还需要知道怎样做才能成为一个会讲故事的人。我曾听人说过:“当然,我明白讲故事的意义,但我是否要付出一定努力,才能使自己变成一个会讲故事的人?这种能力貌似不是自然生成的。”我总会回答说:“是的,我理解。曾几何时,直立行走、读书写字、使用电脑也曾经是非常不自然的事。不过,一旦明白了‘为什么’学习这些技能是值得的,你就会很乐意这样做。对吗?”

So in this article I want to remind readers of the compelling reasons why it is worth your time to become an effective storyteller, in the hopes that more managers and leaders will just get busy learning to tell stories instead of just spewing out information, directives and platitudes. Here are some of the many reasons why it is so worth it for you to decide, today, to become a great storyteller in 2015 and for the rest of your life:
因此,在本文中,我想告诉读者,花点时间努力成为一个会讲故事的人,具有令人信服的理由。但愿更多的经理人和领导者能够学会讲故事,而不是干巴巴地摆数据、定方向、说一些陈辞滥调。接下来,我就给你说说为什么你应该在2015年、乃至余下的整个人生中,成为一个会讲故事的人。

People Remember and Share Stories.The human brain is actually structured to retain memories in story format, with a beginning, middle and end. Long after listeners have forgotten your data, they will remember your story, and the wisdom embedded within it. And, if your story is authentic and compelling they will eagerly share it with others. Many leadership stories from your personal experience even have the potential to go viral, taking on a life of their own, spreading far and wide in your organization or social networks.
人们会记住故事并分享故事。储存在人类大脑中的记忆往往是各种故事,故事有开始、过程和结局。哪怕听者忘掉你的数据已经很久了,他们仍会记得你的故事,以及其中所隐含的智慧。如果你的故事是真实而吸引人的,他们会非常乐于与他人分享。很多源自个人经历的领导力故事,甚至有可能获得自身的生命力,然后像病毒一样在你的企业或社交网络上广泛传播。

Stories Engage all the Senses, Memories and the Emotions.Try this now, following my instructions exactly: I now forbid you to imagine a purple elephant. I repeat: Do NOT think of a purple elephant right now. Further, I forbid you to imagine a purple elephant on roller skates, whizzing down a mountain road at 100 km per hour, with a bright red scarf around its’ neck, streaming behind it in the breeze. And do NOT imagine the blissful smile on the purple elephant’s face as it goes whizzing down the mountain, freedom of the ride.
故事会引起所有的感觉、记忆和情感。做个小试验,现在严格遵照我的指示:我现在禁止你想象一头紫色的大象。重复一遍:现在不要想象一只紫色的大象。然后,不要想象这头紫色的大象穿着溜冰鞋,以100公里的时速从山路上滑下,它的脖子上系着一条在微风中飘动的鲜红围巾。不要想象它在滑行过程中脸上挂着喜悦而自由的微笑。

Ok, how did you do? The fact is, once you read my words, I instantly engaged your imagination and you have installed a purple elephant in your imagination. At the same time, you have accessed your own memories of moving at high speed, feeling joyful, bright red and purple colors. Stories are immediate, engaging and irresistible. I told the story, but you created it in your own imagination, and you now own it. Perhaps you even smiled as you had fun doing this.
结果如何?事实上,一旦你读了上述句子,我立刻引起了你的想象,你已经在想象中成功建立了这样一头紫色大象的形象。同时,你又利用自己的记忆,产生了高速、兴奋、鲜红和紫色等联想。引人入胜,令人无法抗拒的故事会一下子抓住你的心。我讲了一个故事,但你在自己的想象中将它建立了起来,并牢记在心。当你饶有兴致地构想这些形象时,你甚至有可能露出会心的微笑。

Stories Allow Listeners to Draw their own Conclusions.Let’s suppose you have a personal story about an authentic experience in which you, or someone else, faced an overwhelming challenge, experienced multiple frustrating obstacles, made some embarrassing mistakes due to bad choices, but in the end, overcame the difficulties and demonstrated outstanding results. As your listeners experience your story, they are also learning vicariously: they are paying close attention by first identifying with the situation, feeling the pain of those unworkable choices, the tension and uncertainty about the outcome, noticing how the person overcame their mistakes and feeling the joy of their ultimate success. They automatically integrate the key learnings and retain them easily due to the story format.
故事能让听者得出自己的结论。假设你有一个基于个人真实经历的故事,在这个故事中,你或另外某个人经历了一项非常艰巨的挑战,经历了很多挫败和阻碍,由于选择不当而犯了很多难堪的错误,但最终克服了所有困难,获得了杰出的成绩。对于听众来说,聆听这个故事也是一个间接的学习过程。他们会对这个故事给予很大的关注,首先会判明情况,感受到这些失败决策所带来的痛苦,以及结果的不确定性所带来的压力,关注这个人如何克服了失误,感受到他们最终成功的喜悦。由于你采取了故事的模式,听者会自动吸收关键的经验,并且轻松地记住它们。

Stories Build Trust.Best of all, in the above example, you avoided the fatal error of just preaching or “telling” people what to do. Because people don’t like being told what to do! But, they do love a story that allows them to decide for themselves what was effective and willingly apply their learning to future situations. In fact, you will gain more trust from people by telling failure stories from your own experience than by merely boasting and bragging about all your successes. When you reveal your mistakes and vulnerabilities with others, you show your human side and they automatically like you better and trust you more. This is where stories can move you from being a leader focused on ‘transactions’ (tasks) to a leader focused on human relationships grounded in trust.
故事能建立信任。上述例子的最好一面在于,你可以避免纯粹的说教或耳提面命。因为人们不喜欢你命令他们做什么。但是他们却喜欢你用故事来告诉他们怎样做是有效的,并且乐于把学到的经验用于未来的情境中。实际中,通过讲述你个人的失败故事,你还会得到人们更多的信任。当你把犯错和失败的例子讲给他人时,你也就展示了自己人性化的一面,他们会自然而然地更喜欢和信任你。因此,故事可以让你从一个“任务”型领导者变成一个专注于构建基于信任的人际关系的领导者。

Stories Can Help People Imagine and Embrace an Inspiring Future.As a leader, your success depends on how well you can inspire the willing participation, creativity and passion of others at all levels in your organization. There is a story about US president John Kennedy that illustrates the power of a vision that is embraced by all the players. According to this story, which has since become legendary, Kennedy was visiting NASA during the time leading up to the first US moon mission. During a break he went to use the restroom and encountered a man mopping the floor. Smiling at the man, Kennedy thanked him for keeping the room spotless. The man quickly replied, “No sir, I don’t mop floors. I’m helping us go to the moon.” Deeply touched, Kennedy shared the story with others and it went viral. Here was an organization whose members at every level had fully integrated the Vision into their thinking, regardless of what daily tasks they performed. Imagine, if you can, the power of a group of people similarly inspired in your organization. Are your people excited and inspired by a compelling vision…or are they simply mopping floors?
故事能帮人们想象并拥抱一个更光明的未来。作为领导者,你的成功取决于能否激发全体员工参与的愿望,以及他们的创意和激情。美国前总统肯尼迪有一个传奇故事:在美国首次登月任务期间,肯尼迪曾经去美国航空航天局访问。中途去洗手间时,他看见一位男士正在那里拖地板。肯尼迪向他报以微笑,感谢他把房间打扫得这样干净。那个男人马上回答:“不,先生,我不是在拖地板,而是在帮助我们登月。”深受感动的肯尼迪将这个故事分享给了其它人,这个故事迅速火了起来。在这个故事中,NASA就是这样一个各个层级的人充分投身宏伟愿景的组织,不管他们每个人的日常工作是什么。不妨想象一下,如果你的公司的员工也有类似的激情会怎样?你的员工是否因一个激动人心的愿景而兴奋?还是他们只是简单地在拖地板?

Stories can also:
故事还能:

• Rapidly communicate complex concepts using compelling metaphors
• 利用吸引人的隐喻,迅速传递原本复杂的理念。

• Make information more believable
• 使信息更为可信。

• Stimulate engagement and trust across all key stakeholder groups
• 激发所有利益相关者群体参与其中,并增加其信任感。

• Convey values, ideas, and passion that listeners will internalize
• 传递价值、理念和热情,并使听者能内化于心

• Eliminate resistance as listeners willingly take ownership of a story’s message
• 随着听者欣然接受故事所要传达的信息,它还能减少阻力

Case Study:Let me close with a true story that went viral in a company that was focused on pet care and helping customers effectively care for their pets. One of importantly the values in the company was “Do whatever it takes to help the customer.”
案例研究:最后,让我们再说一个真实的故事,有一家公司主要做宠物护理,帮助客户有效地照顾他们的宠物。该公司的一个重要价值是“不惜一切帮助顾客”。

One afternoon, a group of school children, aged 5-9 years, came into one of the company’s many stores, carrying a cardboard box full of newly born kittens they had found in the woods, abandoned by the mother. They had no money, and no experience, only a strong commitment to take care of the kittens, no matter what. In a pleading voice, one of the children asked, “Can you help us save these kittens? They’ll die if we don’t help them.”
一天下午,该公司一家门店迎来了一群小学生,他们年龄只有5到9岁。孩子们抱着一只纸箱,里面有好几只刚出生的小猫。这些小猫是他们从林子里捡来的,可能是被它们的母亲遗弃了。孩子们没有钱,也没有经验,只是非常想照顾好这些小猫。其中一个孩子恳求道:“你能帮我们救救这些小猫吗?如果我们不救它们,它们就会死的。”

The store manager, without hesitation, immediately gave them two large kitten cages, a month’s supply of food, water dishes and some comfortable rags for the kittens to sleep in. She then coached them on how to care for young kittens and made sure they understood their new responsibilities. She also encouraged to ‘come back anytime if you need more help.’ With happy faces, and new confidence, the kids proudly took their kittens home.
这家门店的经理没有任何犹豫,立即给了他们两个大的猫笼子,足够吃一个月的猫粮,以及水盆、碎布等一应物品。然后她耐心地向孩子们讲解怎样照顾小猫,确保他们充分理解自己的新责任。她还鼓励孩子们一有问题就来找她。孩子们带着小猫回家了,他们的脸上挂着快乐和自信的笑容。

The next day, some of the parents came to the store, profusely thanked the manager, and happily paid for all the items that she had given to the children the day before. In addition, they bought a lot of other products that growing kittens would need. Most importantly, they praised the manager for taking initiative and they told the story to all their friends and neighbors. As a result, the store immediately gained a competitive advantage as “a business that truly cares for customers and demonstrates its values in action.”
第二天,一些孩子的父母来到店里,衷心感谢了这名经理,并且高兴地付清了她赠送的那些物品所需要的款项。此外,他们还购买了很多养猫所需的其它物品。更重要的是,他们赞扬了经理的做法,并且把这个故事告诉了所有朋友和邻居。这家店“真正关心顾客、在行动中展示价值”的理念由此深入人心,迅速获得了竞争优势。

This story also went viral within the pet care company’s own organization and was proliferated on social media. Even the company’s CEO loves to share this story as a way of communicating their values and especially the message “take initiative” across all levels of the organization.
这个故事也迅速在该公司内部流传开来,并在社交网络上走红。甚至连该公司的CEO也乐于与人分享这个故事,作为在组织内各个级别传递公司价值,尤其是“采取行动”这一讯息的一种手段。

Here’s a few action steps for you, once you decide to lead with stories:
一旦你决心成为一名会讲故事的领导者,以下几个步骤可以帮助你:

• Think back to situations in your own personal experience that could be the basis for a good story and keep a Personal Story Notebook
• 基于个人经历,想想过去的经历中,哪些事可以成为一个好故事的基础,养成撰写“个人故事笔记”的好习惯。

• When you share a story, notice that almost always, you will get a story in return…it’s human nature to match a story with a story. Most important, notice the values, issues, passions reflected in other’s stories and integrate those into your stories. Watch how people resonate as their own values are reflected back to them via your stories.
• 当你分享故事时,你总会获得另一个故事作为回报……人们习惯于用一个故事匹配另一个故事。最重要的是,注意他人的故事中反映的价值、问题和热情,并且把它们整合到你自己的故事里。当你的故事反映了听者自身的价值时,注意观察他们的反应。

• Make a study of stories, read books about storytelling*, keep collecting and fine tuning your stories, and, most important:
• 对故事进行研究,读一些关于讲故事的书,注意收集和提炼你的故事,最重要的是:

• Start telling stories! Stories can transform your relationships with people and make you a stand-out leader. So go for it.
• 开始讲故事!故事可以改变你与人的关系,使你成为一名杰出的领导者。所以开始讲故事吧。

As Oprah Winfrey, a masterful entertainer and storyteller says at the end of every story, “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!”
正如技艺精湛的脱口秀女王奥普拉•温弗瑞在每个故事的结尾处所言:“这就是我的故事,我坚持这一点!”(财富中文网)

*See:“Wake Me Up When the Data is Over: How Organizations Use Stories to Drive Results,” a new book by Lori Silverman, available on Amazon.com
*延伸阅读:Lori Silverman的新书《讲完数据之后再叫醒我:企业如何利用故事催生结果》(Wake Me Up When the Data is Over: How Organizations Use Stories to Drive Results)已经在亚马逊上有售。



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