"Become aware what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it, produce it and give birth to it." - Meister Eckhart

20 November 2014

New Storytelling Resources

Are you a creative artist in the fields of dance, song, music, or storytelling? Looking for resources to help you plan workshops and trainings? or to extend your repertoire of activities?

Then go no further than http://www.tracscotland.org/tracs/resources where you'll find dozens of helpful activities, exercises and other ideas all free to download as .pdf files. (You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to read them).

For you storytellers, you can download my resource "Storytelling for Young People" right here, right now.

After you've downloaded your free resources, take time to explore the TRACS website to learn more about these wonderful traditional arts.

05 November 2014

Changing Your Inside Story

#StoryCoaching is all about helping people find the right stories to tell and tell them effectively. This is especially important when going for the all-important job interview.  You've read through the application and job description. The employer has told you some of their story in the information they sent you, but what story are you going to tell them? Much depends on the story you're telling yourself.

As a story coach, I encourage my clients to recognise the narrative thoughts that threaten to sabotage their success, what Susan Whitcomb calls ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts). Then, I help them create a new story, one that is positive and affirming.

The following "tips" are taken from Susan Britton Whitcomb's article "Changing the Inside Story: the Story You Tell Yourself is More Important than the Story You Tell Your Employers" (http://www.quintcareers.com/changing_inside_story.html). In it, Susan offers a few tips for the prospective job candidate, which can help manage the "inside story". Both coaches and clients will find it invaluable. It was prepared for Job Action Day 2014 (Nov 3rd).

Consider These Tips for Managing Your Inside Story

Notice the narrative without judging yourself. It's important that we not deride ourselves further for the narrative thoughts, because that only exacerbates the situation. Just notice the thoughts, such as, "I hear those ANTs again [Automatic Negative Thoughts]. Interesting. I hadn't realized what I was thinking."

Shift out of the Narrative Network. Get into a different network -- the Experiential Network -- a state where we are very aware of ourselves and our surroundings, taking in information through our five senses. For example, "I notice that I'm hungry; I can hear the fan of my computer kicking on; the sky is an interesting shade of blue right now."

Go for gratitude. Gratitude can change the chemistry inside our bodies, releasing serotonin, dopamine, and other neurochemicals that make us feel good. Speak your gratitude aloud, even if just to yourself. Extend gratitude not just for the people in your life, but to yourself, as well. For example, I am grateful for the strengths I have that are helping me manage this transition.

Write a new story with a happy ending. Rehearse it. Positive visualizations create new neural wiring in our brains, which makes it easier for us to repeat the same success in the future. For example, "I can see myself meeting with my networking contact this afternoon. I walk in with shoulders back, head held high, smile on my face. I am using my strengths as a researcher to connect with him and understand his background and his needs. I listen and respond in ways that create trust so he's more comfortable referring me to others."

Click here to read the entire article.

If you have any thoughts on managing the "inside story", leave your comments below. I'd love to hear from you.


"We have received only very positive reports of your workshop, and must thank you for being so flexible and responsive both before and in the course of implementing the workshop. It has been lovely to work with you. . . . We are hopeful this project will give rise to future storytelling endeavours, and would be very happy to work with you again if the opportunity arises!" Muireann Crowley, At Home in Scotland, University of Edinburgh, May 2014 ("Storytelling, Research and Public Engagement" workshop)

Michael Williams is a a storyteller of compelling skill. He is also a fine human being who engages in all situations and draws people into the warmth of communication and shared experience." Donald Smith, Director, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh Scotland

"Michael's understanding of storytelling within a leadership and business context has helped us provide a great service in helping leaders determine their personal and organisational destiny and legacy. Working with Michael is inspiring and fun; and pulls you to be fully engaged from start to finish." Norton Bertram-Smith, Managing Director and Leadership Consultant for On Purpose.

Kamink: the little boy who grew into a giant of a man

Blues and Roots Radio

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Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland
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