Be a Storycatcher Today!
1. Invite story telling and listening into little pockets of public time.
When you’re in the coffee line—ask someone about his or her first memories of coffee. When you’re in the grocery line—ask someone how to cook an item in their basket (Turnips? Artichokes? Chicken livers!?) When you notice something unusual—don’t judge it, ask for the story about it… so why does your niece have 27 holes in her ears?
Because it creates social connection. When people are connected they care about each other. And people who
care about each other start taking care of their communities, and sharing resources, and telling each other the
really good ideas about how they are doing. You get the idea!
2. Ask your colleagues how they are—then stop and really listen.
So, did your daughter make the soccer team?
How’s your spouse/partner doing after last week?
I heard about X—I’m so sorry, anything I can do?
Hey, way to go with that report, what was their reaction to the Powerpoint?
And think about it: you are working together. When you know something about each other you make a better
team. You are more efficient at accomplishing tasks, understanding how to use each other’s talents, or supporting someone who is temporarily overwhelmed. You get the idea!
3. Create time in your family and/or friendship group devoted to story.
When children are playing—help them make story out of their games.
Read to each other—read to the kids, read to your partner, read to your parents, read to the dog.
Unplug the machinery, circle the chairs, linger at the table or on the porch, ask a story-invoking question.
Laugh. Cry. Tell one of your own stories.
Knowing how to tell a story is a necessary life skill! Can you imagine not being able to say who you are? What
you know? Love? Want? Story is the basis of everything. Story is how we relate. Story is how we belong.
You get the idea!
4. Repeat every good story you hear—
Say something nice about a neighbor, colleague, family member who bugs you—maybe even say it to
When someone is complaining about someone else, ask, “But what good things have they done?”
When someone is complaining about all the changes we face, ask them, “But what are we learning?
What do we want to leave for the future?”
When someone is gossiping, ask, “Tell me a story about a time you kept another’s trust?”
Social space feels good or bad depending on the stories people share about each other. Stories are how we
build each other up and encourage the best out of each other, or we can tear each other down. You choose—
every time you open your mouth. Be intentional: you have huge power as a storyteller. You get the idea.
Based on the book Storycatcher: Making Sense of Our Lives Through the Power and Practice of Story by Christina Baldwin.