How can I start the process of sharing stories with my group or organization?

Three women stand in front of a group speaking about a poster held up.

Family Partner and Partnering Together for Change member Ros Curtis shares lessons learned from positive stories gathered during Appreciative Interviews at the PiDC Alliance retreat day.

The PiDC Alliance has found that ‘appreciative interviews’  encourage people to grow comfortable with story-telling. In an appreciative interview, pairs or small groups interview one another, but their interview questions are structured to be appreciative and to elicit stories. A few examples below:

1. Tell me about a time in which you felt strongly  supported by your co-workers?

2. Can you describe a high point that you have experienced (or, what you have liked best) in your work? What made the experience so positive?

3. Describe a relationship in your work life where you felt valued? What was it about the relationship that was important to you?

What do we do with the stories once we have them?

Talk about these stories together. Give participants a chance to see what lessons can be learned from the experiences of their colleagues.  Ask:

  • what made this story powerful?
  • What was happening?
  • What can this story tell us about our ideal future? 
  • What have you taken away or learned from these stories?

Soon, your own culture change coalition will be using stories organically in order to exchange bold ideas about culture change.