Story(telling) as part of the Bridging Team Process helping us to understand who we are today — and the art of practicing humanity

How can we awaken more humanity in our structures and organizations? 

Story is about the art and practice of being human. It supports our awakening humanity by:

  • creating shared understanding and expanding perspectives
  • welcoming and engaging diversity
  • building empathy and commitment
  • creating a more resilient foundation through strengthened relationships
  • meeting in our humanity and sharing what it is to be human
  • encouraging self-responsibility
  • creating a bigger now
  • reclaiming the truth of stories

Stories and storytelling can be the bridge builder across the divides, and a way for welcoming and engaging diversity. AND they need to be used intentionally and with supportive, well-hosted process so that there is “safe enough” space for sharing and so that good listening and sensemaking is encouraged. 

We all have challenges. We all have coping strategies. We all have hopes and dreams, fears and frailties. Listening to others helps us to make sense of the wonderful or frightening mess we find ourselves in. Hearing how others cope encourages self-responsibility and action.

Ways we to bring perspective into storytelling:

  1. Story as a leadership practice = Share the vision / path / journey
  2. Seeing self and Story as positive Change Agents = Create collective muscle for “leaning in”
  3. Story as a learning practice = Make “safe enough” spaces for: people to show up more fully / allow the dissenting voice (the voice that holds back) to be heard / enable the hard conversations to be had without breaking the system
  4. Story as a process partner = Creating a frame for collective action/support
  5. Story as a resonance tuner = to strengthen practice
  6. Story as part of the art of practicing humanity = Illuminate/reinforce – mission, vision, values, ethics, stance, etc.


Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.

— Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


  1. What did you love to do as a child?
  2. Who was a positive influence in your childhood? How so?
  3. What is your favourite place?
  4. Tell us about your favourite job?
  5. What skills are you most interested in developing?
  6. What’s my biggest challenge?
  7. What have you learned about yourself?
  8. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us, that you haven’t been asked about?