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Stories connect. If we connect with the hero of a tale, we are hearing an echo of some challenging situation we may be embroiled in. Prompted by the story, we think what we would do and what we could do. We think about the solutions the hero adopts and accept or reject them. But once the human connection has been established, very, very rarely, do we not engage.

 

Clients may be helped by story-telling when:

  • They are being called to action by something which has just started or is about to start – a new job, a new relationship
  • They have come to the end of something – an old job, a bad relationship
  • They stand at a crossroads – facing dilemmas and choices
  • They recognise nothing is changing and they would like it to
  • They are making a decision to change – for example, to become fitter, sleeker, more confident. . .

 

Coaches can use story-telling to help clients:

  • Recognise and if necessary change their habitual ways of thinking. Is, for example, their preference for moving away from difficult situations and people or moving towards them and rising to the challenge?
  • Recognise what motivates them
  • Use their imagination to find answers to ‘What if?’  And ‘What next?’
  • Build a sense of ‘self’ by comparing and contrasting themselves to characters in the tale.

 

Stories provide memorable lessons and breathtaking clarifications.

 

And so – we tell stories.

 

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Freelance Journalism comes in many forms. I should know. I’ve been a freelance journalist since 1985, writing for national and regional newspapers and magazines – a wide portfolio – and I can tell you, although the audience may vary, the skill set is clearly-defined. So, for some time now, I’ve been running a series of freelance journalism skills’ workshops. And, for those of you close enough to Heswall, here is a call to action for an information-packed and exhilarating Out of the Box Workshop placed firmly in that series.

The subject of this workshop – due to take place at The Conservatory, 28 Park West, Heswall, Wirral, CH60 9JF, on May 18th 1.00pm – 3.30pm (cost £25) – will be Interviewing Skills. Whatever your subject and whatever your angle, if you want to freelance, at some point you will have to interview someone. This could be a nerve-wracking experience in itself. And – even worse – the next question could be how do I survive when I’m the one being interviewed? This workshop will offer non-media savvy professionals a practical survival guide for one of the most difficult kinds of conversation you can have.

Subsequent workshops – taking place on an ad-hoc basis – will include topics such as self-publication, press releases, sourcing ideas and many more. Please see this blog for more details.

Could you let me know by May 10th(12 noon) whether or not you intend to come to Interviewing Skills. Numbers are restricted to 8 so be quick! And, even if you don’t live close enough to Heswall to join the Programme, please remember these workshops travel!  Why not contact me to book a workshop for a group near you?

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This princess was different.

She was a brunette beauty with a genius of a brain.

Refusing marriage, she inherited all by primogenesis.

The country’s economy prospered under her rule.

When the handsome prince came by on his white charger, she bought it from him and started her own racehorse business.

(With thanks to Zoe Ellis, quoted by Margaret Parkin in Tales for Trainers, Kogan Page, 2010)

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2010, Tales for Trainers, Margaret Parkin. Publ. Kogan Page.

2009, Charisma – The Art of Relationships, Michael Grinder. See website, www.michaelgrinder.com

2008, Practicing Narrative Mediation, John Winslade and Gerald Monk. Publ. Jossey-Bass (a Wiley Imprint)

2006, The Story Factor, Annette Simmons. Publ. Basic Books

1992, Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a course in miracles Marianne Williamson. Publ. HarperPerennial. Quoted by Nelson Mandela 1997.

The Other Country, C A Duffy. Anvil Press Poetry, London.

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