Telling stories is a great way to connect with your audience, and for life coaches, business stories illustrate the struggles and successes we all share.
It doesn’t matter if you are on stage, teaching a class, writing an email to your list, recording a podcast or writing a blog post. Business storytelling could and should should play a big part of your content creation and marketing strategies. But how do you come up with those stories in the first place? Here are seven tips to help you keep the business story ideas flowing so you can find just the right one for just about any situation.
Share A Recent Encounter
Often the best story are happening to you and all around you. Think about a client who is successful in her achievements? Can you tell her story as an example to newbies? What is the best coaching conversation you ever had? Or which complement from a client meant the most to you? And why was that story most meaningful?
Recall A Conversation
Conversations offer great story ideas. Without going into too many details or sharing too much information about the person you were talking to, what was the underlying message of the conversation in your storytelling. Example: One parent, who called me, was frustrated her their three-year-old daughter was always singing, dancing, and seemed “overly” playful. The daughter was a total contrast to their eldest daughter, aged ten, who mom described as most like the parents. Parents and older daughter liked to read, study the stars, read science-type magazines. The younger child shared few, if any, interests with the parents and older sister. I shared with the parents how there are different temperaments, and because the older sister was an intellectual, didn’t mean that the second child would be of the same temperament. No, the younger child was the talkative, creative, dancing ballerina.. They got it, and I didn’t hear from them until ten years later. Now older daughter is thirteen and younger daughter is six. Mom called to share how the knowledge of temperaments changed their lives. They started offering the younger child outlets for her dancing body and creative brain, as they offered the older child classes and experiences in which her strengths could flower.
Dig Deep and Share A Childhood Memory
Childhood memories are another great source of story ideas. The memories that stick with us from way back when are often the ones that taught us a valuable lesson or had a significant impact on who we are today. Think back to what you remember from your childhood and how you can tie those memories into what you’re doing today.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
Stories are going on all around us. Pay attention to the situations and conversations people have around you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many story ideas you’ll get just by paying attention your surroundings. Example: I went to the hospital when I felt sharp pains crackle cross my chest. Heart attack? Not sure! Go to bed or go to the emergency room? Go to the hospital. Over five hours, I was admitted, assigned a bed, tested, and the doctor finally arrived in the early morning to tell me the news.
“You have a pulmonary embolism.”
“And that is….?”
“You have a blood clot in your lungs.”
Carry A Little Notebook
We’ve established that there are conversations around us from which we draw a story theme. as you observe those stories, which are memorable that would be a good fit with the content or product. Stick a little notebook and pen in your purse, briefcase or jacket. Keep it with you and jot down short notes about ideas, thoughts, conversations and situations that have storytelling potential.
Listen To Your Family and Friends
Pay attention to your loved ones. They are sharing stories with you on a regular basis. Listen to your kids when they come home from school. Sit down for an after-school snack, and ask them about their day. You’ll have an almost never-ending supply of storytelling material. Listen with rapt attention to feel their emotions and exemplify those feelings in your story, as they are genuine and believable. Keep looking for new ideas and keep telling those stories to grow your business, connect with you readers and make the sale.
. How we parents communicate and demonstrate conversations with our children speaks louder than any intention or goal. A parent coach or family consultant trains parents and family members in communications skills. How are your communications skills?
Not Like This
“Caron, speak up.” My father screamed. Other statements he used were….
“Quit mumbling. Stop mumbling. You are driving me nuts.”
My father was a man with a hearing loss, probably acquired from his stent of service in the second world war. He boasted how he was lucky to be alive despite the shard of metal in his brain. He drank a lot which often resulted in being a happy drunk until he couldn’t hear what one of his children said. Then, his short fuse resulted in the not-so-nice screaming bout.
The story of my father demonstrates how truly important establishing two-way communication within families is. Two-way communication implies two people are speaking, but also listening, as well as respecting, opinions and solutions. Two-way communication suggests that listening receives as much respect as speaking.
Communication styles are characterized by the way people want to appear and be heard:
- People want to look (or attempt to appear) a certain way when communicating. For example, it was necessary to my father that he raised his voice and corrected me because he was the “boss.”
Unclear, poor communication leaves family members unhappy and lonely. If your communication skills are lacking, then a family member may be miserable and feel alone. These tips can help you improve the opportunities for being heard, speaking your truth, and inviting conversations with your children.
Ten Right-Way Communication Skills for the Home
Fostering a more favorable environment in your home includes offering opportunities for discussions and space for disagreements, Try these communication strategies
1. Be open and honest with one another. While being honest, be kind when saying something that may cause a family member any distress. Children are more receptive to calm voices, kind words, and tone of voice, but then, isn’t everyone?
2. Have some fun each day. Family fun doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. It can be as simple as having ice cream cones or playing with your pets. Simple tasks or rituals make a significant difference in how the communication flows in a home, mainly when people are engaged in functions together.
3. Set priorities for chores that everyone must do. Agree on who does what chores and when they should do them, so everyone participates in age-appropriate tasks. Write them on a chore chart ahead of time to prevent arguments!
4. Keep privacy boundaries. Adults and kids both need their privacy on a regular basis. Ensure that the kids understand the importance of respecting this priority.
5. Have a family meeting each week to discuss family issues. Find a time in which everyone in the family can attend. Hold the meeting every week, preferably at the same time. In the meeting, let each family member speak their mind, even if it’s a complaint. Solve challenges, run ideas by each other, and make plans for the future together.
6. Allow free time. Everyone needs some time to do things on their own or with their friends. Meeting this need will help each family member feel more satisfied, fulfilled, and open to communicating.
7. Spend holidays and special events together as a family. Strengthen your family bond with special occasion family traditions. Let the kids share their ideas about the occasion, too.
8. Establish a weekly family night. Make time just to enjoy being together. Watch movies, play games, or have story time. Encourage laughter and open communication.
9. Learn to negotiate. Learning to compromise and come up with win-win solutions for everyone involved is a priceless skill that will serve your family members well throughout their lives.
10. Say, “I love you.” Each day, remember to show your spouse and kids how much you love them. Share loving, encouraging words and hugs freely throughout the day – even if it’s a hard day, especially if it’s a hard day!)
A happy home promotes a supportive place to live, play, and look forward to the future! A comfortable home welcomes your loved ones when they return from work or other outings. They can leave the stresses of the outside world behind as they enter the warm sanctuary of home. Practice these communication strategies to create an inviting environment in your home because you shape the foundation for your child’s ability to get along in life.
Fulfill Your Calling and Train as a Family Coach
Do you know that the tool–creative visualization– allows for manifestation? Using viewing, as it is intended, changes your circumstances and sometimes your entire life. Concentrating and focusing on a particular outcome can, indeed, make it happen because I have experienced it several times in my life.
When I was a divorced mom with a beautiful young daughter, I read the novel Hawaii during the summer months that school was out. The author James Michener, wrote with such fluency that the story mesmerized me. I day-dreamed about Hawaii and what life there might be for a Special Education teacher.
I imagined it often enough that I unwittingly created a marriage to a native Hawaiian teacher. I was not careful what I asked for, and the union dissolved after seven years.
Visualization works. When paired with positive emotional states, it works better.
Goodman was a successful insurance salesman, who was well-versed in creative visualization. He visualized his entire insurance business.
In the 1980’s, a plane crash rendered Morris paralyzed and unable to use any part of his body other than his brain. He breathed on his own with the help of a ventilator.
Doctors were not hopeful. His family made plans to support his limitations as best they could. Meantime, Morris communicated with the staff and his own family by blinking his eyes. What he told them surprised everybody – that he planned on walking out of the hospital on his own.
Morris used creative visualization to see and feel himself breathing and walking without help. He visualized leaving the hospital, and even the very route he would take home.
At one point, he convinced the medical staff that he wanted to attempt breathing on his own. He claimed he had an urge to breathe on his own and he wanted to try. They removed the ventilator tube, and he did breathe on his own.
From that point on, he walked out of the hospital–something that the hospital staff believed they would not see. Morris continued with his successful insurance business, and also became a motivational speaker, proving that it only takes the brain and creative visualization to change your entire world.
When coaches or consultants are working with parents or a family, take time with parents to establish a good fit between the parent’s temperament and the child’s temperament.
What Is Creating a Good Fit?
The term “goodness of fit, or used here as the good fit, refers to parents meeting the needs of a child by parenting according to the temperament of each child. The goodness of fit between a child’s temperament and your parenting temperament style is essential for healthy social and emotional development for both you and your child. Also, you want to meet your personal needs as a parent in daily living from sleeping well at night to scheduling date nights.
How To Create A Good Fit?
The Nine Traits Inventory is helpful in determining reaction patterns in children and typically is used from infancy through the first to fifth grade. For example, two-year-old Lucy was very shy. Each month when Mom’s book group came for an evening, Lucy’s mom thought she was helping by pushing Lucy forward or holding Lucy while mom’s friends hugged her hello. Lucy, however, appeared frightened and pulled back.
Being with and observing your child, you start to note how he or she responds to people, environments, stress, food, etc. You’ll be observant of how you react. Are you reactive? Or are you proactive?
Your goal is to become an active parent by recognizing feelings and watching behaviors. The more you observe your child’s traits, the more prepared you’re a master at managing and supporting temperaments. You are watching your child adapt, and then you adjust to varied environments and situations as you go along. Lucy’s mom took the hint when a book club member mentioned that because Lucy seemed overly shy, why not let her hang out at the book club meeting for several weeks without pushing her into anyone or anything. Instead, the friend suggested that Lucy explores and find her level of comfort in her way. These moms would watch how she did it and learned what comforted Lucy. That advice was excellent for Lucy’s mom to allow temperament expressions to evolve into a good fit for the situation.
What Does Adapting the Environment Mean?
Here are examples of how different parents handled changing the environment to meet the needs of a child.
Marilynn got upset when something new was happening the next day or an activity would be different. Her mom started talking about the exciting new event one week before it would happen. She’d mention in normal conversation each night, and the night before the event was the most critical. Marilynn asked, “Is it tomorrow?” Mom responded wth yes, which made Marilynn cry more. Marilynn would speak of being scared and not liking new things she didn’t know about. Mom adapted the environment by talking about the event with her daughter. She left an additional hour for Marilynn to get ready for bed, cry, read a book, and talk some more before turning off the light. On the following mornings, Marilynn did all right and held herself together. Somehow, her living through the fear before the event seemed to make her happier to be there.
Do you see how common sense the adaptations can be?
What questions do you have about a good fit between parents and children?
Why would a parent coach or a family coach take particular care in defining the type of person who would be their best customer or client?
1: Relationship research suggests that if we are relatively healthy in mindset and emotionality, we attract people, who are similar to us in Emotional patterns, Cultural preferences, Levels of empathy
2. Also, core temperaments influence whom we meet with and coach. Are you the personality type that can be authentic with all four temperaments? Can you work with the types of person who
- Make excuses
- Cancel appointments
- Want to talk about it, and not do much about it
- Becomes angry at you rather than the issue
3. Likewise, our values influence the decisions we make about our business and ideal clients.
This values of your ideal client affects everything you do from setting fees to determining your coaching programs, which will offer solutions to their problems and value to living an inspired life.
4. Spend your time on the most valuable task to make your business successful by defining your ideal client.
- Age group
- Family status
- Lifestyle goals
To make this list real, a clever trick of successful authors is to write a story. Authors write about their ideal reader, and you write about the client who is most compatible with you. You give her a name, a couple of kids, a husband who just doesn’t get it, and a load of student loans. You know quite a bit about her, you think.
If you stop there, you may be missing a huge piece of the puzzle—and losing out on the best clients because of temperament incompatibility.
Temperament Style Mismatch
The topic is rarely considered in the “ideal client” equation, and it’s arguably the most important part: core temperament style.
If you’re bossy, sarcastic, fun-loving and loud, then a quiet, middle-aged mom who spends her time volunteering at the church is probably not a good fit for you. WHY?
- Natural exuberance may overwhelm the person.
- If a client needs to start with small steps, and you whiz to the finish line, you’ve left the client in the dust.
- Either he will be uncomfortable with your style, or you’ll be miserable trying to reign in your natural exuberance.
Drive Determines Success
Check in with your client about their drive to success.
Adaptive Supporter type clients are slower to take the initiative, although they always meet their goal. An achiever may be internally motivated but could move too fast and fail to plan adequately for meeting his goals. Both clients can be frustrating to coach unless you understand the core temperaments and what motivates each person to succeed.
Review your current and past coaching clients, and you’ll identify the disposition patterns of those you attract. Review:
What characteristics did your most enjoyable client bring to the table?
What time frame do you expect a customer to meet their goals?
Which client behavioral patterns are those you do not want to deal with?
How do you handle your disappointment?
How do you celebrate your client’s successes?
Compare your new potential clients to this ideal profile, and you’ll never again sign on with a less-than-perfect client.