A small group of people from around the world joined Communication Netwerk Amsterdam for this happening. From Paris to Berlin, US to India and from Den Hague to Amersfoort. And of course a bunch of communication wizards from our network in Amsterdam. That’s the beauty of online meetings and a possibility to meet other interesting people from relatively far away on a regular Thursday evening. We shared our necessities, obstacles and visions. We trained and listened to each other.
After a short and pointy session about the theory in story telling we went deeper into the matter and had tasks in groups of three or even one on one exercises. All with a (very very limited) time on the clock to feel the pressure and not be able to think a lot about our answers, our story and our way, before putting it on the table. The purpose was to make us speak freely and just define in a couple of seconds what our own journey is with items of storytelling like the Hero, the Gift and Mentor, the monster and the vision.
My first chat was with Juan, a psychology graduate who wants to combine his way of storytelling / storylistening and communication and create his own coaching program. The second time I got to practice my own story was with Miriam Habib, an abdominal surgeon from Paris who was looking for the right way to pitch her idea for a corneal transplant programme in Africa. OH… oops, my goal was so much less worldly.
How can I tell about my broad interests and let my specialism shine through? For me it’s more about the way of working than the actual assignment. Whether I have to record a story of a CEO in his tower or a fisherman on his boat, I have to get or be equally interested in both. Taking the right pictures only comes if you can connect sincerely.
How can I tell about my broad interests and let my specialism shine through? Am I a specialist if I like and do everything? Actually I see my broad interests as a specialism. For me it’s more about the way of working than the actual assignment itself. Whether I have to shoot a story of a CEO in his tower or a fisherman on his boat, I have to get or be equally interested in both. You can only shoot the right pictures when you can connect sincerely.
When I was done with my short visions on ‘the gift, the monster and my vision’, Miriam briefly presented her story to me and it was so nice and positive and well told, I thought her project had actually already taken place. Maybe she already worked on this for a couple of months or even years? But no, it was a brand new thought and a vision still to be built or started! So, maybe this was the better way to tell her story.
One participant had already gone so far with telling his story that no more monsters were to be expected. The road to it had already been set and now it was only a matter of continuing until the vision.
We had to communicate all questions and thoughts within the group in a couple of seconds. It looks so simple and it is so great to just do and find out more then what you would think of in the first place. There are no wrong answers and multiple answers are also possible. Wow, just tell all about your own qualities in just 60 seconds? It is a good way to find out what else you need to make, reach or achieve the vision.
Questions to define the journey;
The Monster: What are you trying to get away from, get out of, change or discard?
The Gift: what is the one thing you need to get where you’re heading? (Except money). You have 90 seconds on the clock.
What are your greatest strengths, the ones that make you prepared for the journey? You have 60 seconds!
All answers are right and multiple answers is also a possibility. Wow, just say in 60 seconds all about your own qualities? It is a good way to find out what else you need to make, reach or achieve the vision.
Two hours flew by and in between we had a lot of fun with the answers that came from Douwe’s pressure cooker.
Douwe thanks us very much for our attendance. He really liked the size of the group and we were all great participants! It was a lot to digest; this was by design, because the stories we care about the most are usually also the ones we think about endlessly, which isn’t always helpful. Douwe would say: trust that your story is already there, just waiting to uncovered. Have the courage to work it out, in writing, speaking or whatever form that works best for you: just throw it out the way it comes out. Then cut in half, turn it upside down, put it inside out and at some point, the true story will emerge. It doesn’t have to be hard, if you just let go of the outcomes a bit, or a lot.
Good luck all!