Stories are the oldest and best way of passing on information in an engaging and memorable way.
They are a key tool in learning, and a nice break from PowerPoint and flip charts, and they can be used to make things easier to remember, to raise a particular issue for discussion, to challenge the way people think, and to make learning easier to transfer back to the workplace.
We don't need to rely solely on real things that have happened either - although real life stories are really good - we can write our own stories too. Sometimes this might be because we don't know a relevant true story, but often there is value in an obviously fictional account - think how much we call on famous fictional situations as real-life metaphors now: everything from Shakespeare and Star Wars to Monty Python. Fictional stories can be used to illustrate ideas in a meaningful way that everyone understands.
In this podcast I talk to Samantha Mathis about her use of stories and how to write your own stories for training courses and other learning events. She also talks about using storytelling as a powerful teambuilding activity, allowing teams to raise and discuss issues in a fun and engaging way.
Samantha Mathis is Regional Head of Learning & Development for the Americas region for the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
She has more than 15 years experience in leadership and learning and organizational development to realize improvement and change. She has extensive experience developing leadership and management training strategies, coaching and mentoring teams and individuals, and specializes in cultural training, leadership and team development.
A retired Royal Air Force officer, she has worked on projects for the U.S. and U.K. governments, the United States Agency for International Development as well as in the private and education sectors.
Samantha has global experience with multi-cultural teams in the Americas, Caribbean, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. She has a B.A. in European Business Communication and a Masters in French & Business and is currently completing a Doctorate in International Education, specializing in the transfer of learning from leadership programs to the workplace.