Story Vs. Advice


The last two evenings I attended events that reminded me of a lesson worth repeating.  Two nights ago I was on a panel before a number of Hofstra masters students. Our answers to many of the instructor’s questions were served up as advice. “Do this.” “I learned that.” “If you__, you can ___.”  This is what you’d expect in a teaching and learning environment.

In the second event, entitled “The Role of Planning Through the Ages” Panel Discussion with Jane Newman, there was a good deal of the same. It was awesome – trust me — but a lot of the knowledge dropped was in the form of teaching.  What I found most fascinating and instructive, however, were the stories. Everyone can remember a story.  Stories that are meaningful to the listener and the teller are best. There are many shitty story-tellers, but few make it far in brand planning.

In my months studying the K12 education space, I learned that broadcasting knowledge is not particularly effective. This applies outside the classroom as well. Embed your advice in a story and watch the cerebral cortex light up.