It’s HOW you tell your story

Silver Linings PlaybookI am not a fan of romantic comedies.
At best I find them incredibly cheesy.
At worst I see them as crazy templates for people who think that relationships can be quick fixes.

That said I spent a lovely time this weekend watching Silver Linings Playbook with my wife.

[Spoiler Alert]
The film is a clever look at how a couple both with histories of mental challenges develop a keen friendship and confront each other on the issues that kind of isolate them from others. How they develop that friendship to a positive conclusion

Given that I am not a fan of rom-coms this film had me hooked.
The clever filming and camera angles.
The convincing lead roles.
The brilliant support cast including Robert de Niro and Chris Tucker, who emerge in and out of the plot with great timing.
Even the voice overs. All had me thinking. It is not the story itself but how you tell it.
(Fans of the cartoon The Last Airbender at this point feel free to cast a sideeye at M Night Shamalyan)

Everyone Has A Story
Part of my work is being able to get professionals to think about the story they are trying to communicate around their career or business. Whether that is the way they design their CV or how they want to communicate their personal brand or the legacy they are trying to communicate as a leader.

One such example for was a client’s Linkedin profile. They asked me to review it to see how it could be improved.
There was no photograph. No engagement in groups or conversations with others and just a long list of work they had done without any highlight or bullet points of their achievements. I challenged them to go away and create a story around why they stood out from the field as if they were doing it as a film. The work in progress so far is amazing.

So what is your story?
What have you achieved which makes you stand out from the crowd?
What value do you bring in a crowded market of “Same” people?

If work is a passionate expression of what you do and not just a job, I challenge you to think of how you want that story to look like and what you want people to think of when they considering working with you either as an employee or a supplier.

Shaping your Story
A simple guideline for developing the story can be found by using the SMART acronym commonly used for goal setting.

Strategy – What is your end goal? What are you trying to achieve?
Method – What tools do you want to use to share this story? Corporate Identity? Social Media? Speeches? CV?
Authentic – Can you back up what you have said? Do testimonials and work history provide examples of what you have done?
Relevant – Who actually cares about what you do? Who is your niche or target market?
Trusted - Why should you be trusted? What value have you added or can you add?

Start working on those as a means of developing your story. You may well be surprised by not only what kind of stories you develop as to how you can become that go person as an employee or supplier/business partner, but also by the way you end up telling your story.
After all who just wants to hear the same old elevator pitch over and over again.