Friday, July 27, 2012

Telling the Group's Story

As the leader it can be downright difficult to make a group decision, so why would the leader even want to attempt to tell the group story? At this stage in my education I can honestly say storytelling is a potent way to connect and unite a group. However, with great power comes great challenges. To be effective the leader must first know her or himself.

It can be inauthentic, even offensive to have a leader come in and start throwing out commands-by-storytelling. As I wrote my group story for class I constantly evaluated how I could use a single point of reference and tell the group story without creating one of those unreadable case studies. Furthermore I often describe myself as fiercely independent and I truly do not like people to speak for me. This puts me in a bit of a tight spot as I wonder how I can unite without offending.

As I have worked extensively on honing my intuition (hence the partial blog vacation) I have relaxed back into the energy space where all questions have answers. I recently watched the documentary "Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Activism" and I was reminded of the South African philosophy of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is the belief "I am because you are." A leader who approaches storytelling with the belief that we are all inter-related and inter-dependent can often tell the group story. Desmond Tutu articulates: "A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."

Ubuntu removes inauthenticity so the leader and storyteller who operates out of this philosophy may take great joy in observing the group and learning the group tendencies to connect on a deeper level with the group. This deeper connection creates a deeper meaning for all who partake in the story. This deeper meaning, I am finding, is what storytelling is all about.