1: We have a tall task.  

Our goal is to persuade our audience to change behaviors and set out on a new course.

We begin by getting their attention. To do so, we go negative.

“Negative stories, questions, or challenges wake us up. They activate the reptilian brain, suggesting fight or flight,” writes Stephen Denning in The Secret Language of Leadership: How Leaders Inspire Action Through Narrative

What … continue reading

1: Define problem Analyze problem Recommend solution.

This sequence is the “normal” or “rational” way of communicating, Stephen Denning writes The Secret Language of Leadership. “It’s an appeal to reason—a model that has been the hallowed Western intellectual tradition ever since the ancient Greeks. . . And it works well enough when your aim is merely to pass on information to people who want to hear it.”

But what if … continue reading

1: “It was just the worst meeting you ever went to,” Craig Dunn recalls in Stephen Denning‘s book The Secret Language of Leadership: How Leaders Inspire Action Through Narrative. 

“We had insults thrown at us. There was a lot of anger and disappointment. People had lost faith in the firm,” he remembers. “And they had good reasons for feeling the way they did. We all had to face the … continue reading

1: Imagine we are standing in line at the grocery store.

“Scientists Discover 4,000-Year-Old Television Set in Egyptian Pyramid,” reads the tabloid headline on the magazine rack beside us.

We shake our heads and smile. Seriously? We question the reliability of the story. Not our belief as to when television was first invented. 

“When we think we know something to be objective truth, our immediate reaction to news indicating the … continue reading