By Paul White, Ph.D. (USA)

John was struggling with how to handle a difficult situation with a key relationship at work. He went to his coach, Stephanie, and asked her advice on what he should do.  Rather than telling him what to do, or even giving her direct input, Stephanie replied, “John, let me tell you a story …” She went on to tell a story about an experience she had and the consequences of her decision over the years.

When she was done, she paused and waited.  After a few seconds of silence, John smiled and said:  “Got it. Thanks.” Her answer had made him consider his situation in a new light, even though Stephanie hadn’t directly answered his question.

Throughout history and across cultures, stories have been used more than any other form of verbal expression to communicate foundational life lessons.  If you read the Greek philosophers, the wisdom literature from Asia, and the literature across the centuries designed to teach guiding principles for life – the “authors” used stories grounded in daily life rather than just stating the principle.

Source: iCN Issue 17  (Life Coaching: The Power to Change Peoples Lives); pages 34-35

About Paul White

Paul White, Ph.D. is a psychologist, speaker and consultant and co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Rising Above a Toxic Workplace, and Sync or Swim.