Successful Businesses Know Authentic Storytelling Is the Key to Successful. Part 1 with Dr. Carmel Finnan.
by Diane Wyzga | March 11, 2021 | Guest Podcast, Podcast | 0 comments
Coming to you from Whidbey Island, Washington this is Stories From Women Who Walk: true-life, practical, funny, heart-breaking, insightful human experience stories from women who are walking their lives while their lives walk them and the lasting difference these journeys have made. I’m your host, Diane Wyzga.
Today my guest is Dr. Carmel Finnan of Story Dialogue who’s joining us from Berlin, Germany. I met Carmel on LinkedIn where she writes well and eloquently about the need to reclaim what storytelling really is and should be in the business world. Her mission is to re-ignite authentic story in a world where ‘fake’ and ‘manipulation’ have taken the driver’s seat in business. Why? Because when we become active participants in each other’s stories we are conversing and connecting. As Carmel says, “Successful businesses know that storytelling is the key to creating a sustainable community and real client connection.” Let’s learn more about how to improve our communication and storytelling skills through Story Dialogue. Welcome to the podcast, Carmel!
00 to 2:08 Intro
2:08 to 9:30 Start From Where You Are
In the dark is a nice time to tell stories
If I met up with you on a hiking trail what’s the first thing I’d notice about you?
- Carmel likes to travel light and have the necessities
- Grew up in Ireland s prepared for rain
- Good shoes, suitable clothes, a bottle of water, and her eyes on the world around her
And if we had some time to walk along together what might I get to know (about you)?
- Somebody who has done a lot
- Grew up on small farm in very rural Ireland
- Lived a conventional life, began working at 18 years, life laid down before her until she drew the pension and retired
- Didn’t work out for me so left the government job to travel
- Had an academic career studying in Ireland and Germany
- Uprooted again, left the academic life, and decided to live a free-er life
- Set up own company; was waiting for bridge to appear: when the bridge comes I’ll walk over it but it never appeared
- When you jump you get your wings so you have to be wiling to take that leap of faith
- What have I always enjoyed doing: reading, scribbling, literature, cultural studies, story
- Returned to creative writing, business storytelling and threw her stake in the ground
- Surprisingly interesting, frustrating, and satisfying to work with those who don’t have personal link to storytelling
- People have a connection to story they don’t know they have
- In the end another form of teaching: take the student to the place where they don’t need you anymore
And how did that lead you to Story Dialogue?
- Guides her clients to discover what they already know
- Clients know what authentic marketing message is – your core story
- She knows that even though they don’t know they know it and she will help you discover it
- Listening deeply, responding, drawing out the story
- Her parenting recalls a book: how to talk so your children will listen and how to listen so your children will talk
- Create the space and let the other person fill that space
9:30 to 15:10 What Story Is and Certainly Is Not
Story Dialogue and the Story Dialogue Process
Story is dialogue and emotional connection. Tell us more about this, how it works, and the benefits for the global community.
- My work Story Dialogue (listening deeply to each other/ reflecting/ responding ) is a candle in the dark; our only chance of a way forward in a polarized world
- Story Dialogue is set within authentic marketing approach
- Let go of hustle, hype, sell, buzz words, story selling machine
- Candle in the dark: keeps her finger on the pulse of business Storytelling is still all about sales – how do we encourage to people to tell their story and what is that story
- What is the story that is being told? Back to the Hero’s Journey formula as manipulation to winning, success and living happily every afterwards
- This is not what it’s about or why we tell stories
- Story is about head (cognitive) + heart (emotions) + hands (actions)
- Story does all that
- Story motivates and inspires us to take an action for good, not about the profit, earnings, bank account; but a shift in values, an insight that set you in another direction
- The outcome is individual but the process of the struggle is all about letting go or realizing the taking away
- What is universal: face a challenge and not really know the way forward
- Our story is about finding our way through struggle, conflict, challenge
- The identification is finding our own way
- Our job: trust ourselves, ask for help, be willing to let go, question the values we have – this is story
15:10 to 18:10 How Story Should Show Up in Marketing
- Dr. Finnan invites clients who are keen on developing their own voice – leaving behind sales jargon or shiny object speak – to build a community, connection
- How is conventional marketing self-serving? Hustle, leads,
- The alternative is building a community
- Difference between dialogue and conversation: Dialogue is reflection while conversation is maneuvering. And don’t we all find ourselves in conversation thinking we are dialoguing – talk to us about that
- How do we reach the people who are looking for us?
- We listen to the people, hear what they’re saying about their dilemma and then we, in essence reflect back the story, as a way to say, “I hear you.”
- When another feels heard it takes them out of Lizard Brain response and into frontal cortex – the beginning of trust building
- Leave behind the Formula
- Engaging in conscious story which is different from “I suffered – I succeeded!”
18:10 to 22:00 Story Dialogue Process -> click here to see Process Diagram on Home Page
- The intersection of the circles is common ground
- A shared space is the seeds of connection; we need it in life, business, in society, etc.
- What’s happening? Instead, we are sewing seeds of fear, manipulation, agenda-based, and outcome-based
- Authentic story creates connection – first and foremost
- Dialogue: story is a different quality of conversation; dialogue is a synonym for conversation BUT! There is no pre-set agenda or outcome, open, happens in the moment, a joint journey of discovery with the person
- Dialogue is a process of coming to a place of insight and discovery
- The insight we gain is the partnership toward deep understanding
- Goal: deep understanding
- Dialogue requires a willingness to listen, reflect and let go of expectations
- Sit naked (metaphorically speaking) when you dialogue with another
22:00 to 30:00 Listen, Reflect, and Let Go Applied to Marketing/Business Scenario
How does this awareness and approach help our marketing efforts? What tips do you have to help us shift into dialoguing?
- Dr. Finnan begins with the client about their clients: what are your clients saying to you? How are they describing an issue, what they need/want, so you know the words they choose, how they speak
- Ask openly to receive valuable information
- The information might cause you to change your product, your service
- Wait with your own agenda by listening to how your clients speak, say, articulate their challenge, dilemma
- The client may end up changing the niche they’re in
- We don’t know where this will end up and there will be a surprise where we land by following this clear process
- She and client will follow a clear pathway and will be in the right place at the conclusion
- Willingness and reciprocity between her and clients which breaks down old narratives, conventional narratives, the old ways of being and doing
- There is excitement now!
- When you let go of pre-set agenda and pre-set outcomes there is a space to create, the next opens up, new discoveries
- Re-discovery of their (client’s) own wisdom, intuition, gut feeling, own knowingness is exciting
- Priceless being part of this experience!
- Helping others to change how people do business by empowering them to follow their inner wisdom, step out of norms, trust others
- Real revolutions/evolutions are happening in small spaces, communities and businesses; the conventional spaces
- Today people are assessing and re-assessing their values, making changes, the revolutions and evolutions are underway
Minute 30:00 to 33:08 New Heroes – New Frontiers
When I talked with you earlier, you made a very powerfully assertive statement along these lines: that COVID opened our eyes to how conventional narratives are eroding and you see us standing on a threshold of new narratives, new frontiers. It is time for us to be the heroes of our own story. Who do you see as the new heroes? What does this open frontier to next look like to you? Join us for more in Part 2 which airs Thursday 18th March 2021
Here we are, at the end of the road but not the journey. Thank you for listening to Part 1 of this episode of Stories From Women Who Walk with your host Diane Wyzga and my guest Dr. Carmel Finnan storyteller, blogger, consultant, and founder of Story Dialogue in Berlin, Germany. Join us next week for Part 2 where we get to hear more of Dr. Finnan’s story and the answer to my question: following COVID’s eroding of old narratives who do you see are the new heroes and what does this open frontier look like to you? Remember to visit Dr. Finnan, check out all the many resources available to you on her website and consider booking a consultation to work together. All links to social media and how to stay in touch with Dr. Finnan are in the Episode Notes.
You’re invited to check out over 270 episodes of Stories From Women Who Walk found on Simplecast or your favorite podcast platform. This is the place to thrive together. Come for the stories – stay for the magic. Speaking of magic, I hope you’ll subscribe, share a nice shout out on your social media or podcast channel of choice, and join us next time! You will have wonderful company as we walk our lives together .
BIO for Dr. Carmel Finnan
Dr. Carmel Finnan worked for almost 20 years in academia in Ireland as a researcher and lecturer in literature, language and cultural studies, before starting her own business in 2015.
Dr. Finnan built on her academic career and love of literature to become a Storytelling and Marketing Consultant. She works with professionals & small business owners who are tired of the complex, expensive marketing tactics on offer and want an effective, simple alternative based on human-to-human connection.
Dr. Finnan developed a marketing strategy around the principle of ‘storytelling as dialogue’, i.e. replacing the conventional monologue form of taking AT an audience with dialogue where we learn to listen, reflect and then respond to our audience.
She believes that ‘dialogue is not just a different way of doing business, it’s also a more meaningful and authentic way of engaging with others and with the world.
Dr. Finnan currently works and lives in Berlin, Germany.
How To Stay in Touch With Dr. Finnan