I was raised by parents who read to us every day. On family camping trips there were always scary stories told around the fire and, on occasion, a parent hidden in the woods who would run at us screaming right at the most frightening moment in the tall tale. Screams would turn to laughter and we would fall asleep reliving the evening as the fire crackled in the background.
I still love to read and listen to stories and although I can binge watch Game of Thrones with the best of them, my favorite way to consume any story is audibly. I love audio books because I can listen, learn and move. A two-hour hike with a great book in my head is my idea of an excellent time. Also, I like to listen fast and there is a setting that allows you to speed up the narration to 1.25x or even double time. I’ve been listening at 2x for years – the only downside of which is that I sometimes find myself wanting people to speak more quickly!
In her book No Ego, author and researcher Cy Wakeman rocked my world when she put words to something anyone who has ever worked has experienced: People make up stories to justify what they think. (I’m paraphrasing.) She encourages us to stop believing what we think and to start focusing on what we know; aka, the facts.
The idea of being fact-based seems simplistic, but take a moment to think about conversations you’ve overheard or been involved in with phrases like, “I bet he is…” and “You know what I think…” and “She always…”. None of these statements are based in facts and all fan the flame of falsehoods that lead to varying degrees of disfunction and misinformation.
What do you know, really know, and what story are you telling yourself to support what you think? Imagine all the time that could be saved by not engaging in storytelling and imagine all the negative mindsets that are fed when people focused on what they think instead of what they know. Storytime has a place. It’s at campfires and bedtime and for entertainment, but it has no place at the office. When we pause and analyze if we really have the facts or not, we reduce the odds for miscommunication and incorrect assumptions.
– Becky Sharpe, President & CEO