Are you aware of your habits when telling a story?
I used to be a person who unintentionally dwelling on problems. I would spend minutes explaining what it was even after it was already solved.
Yesterday, I was invited to a Zoom gathering. While waiting for the rest of the attendees to arrive, we chatted among us. “How has your week been so far?” someone asked. I’ve been quite aware where the answers tend to go with such a question. “Oh, the weather has been like summer here. Snow melted so quickly that my backyard now looks like a pond.” Then someone shared his snow-melting and flooding backyard story. Another topped it off with a story of her flooded basement. By the time we started the meeting, our energy was low. Not on purpose. I was guilty of the same crime in the past. We are creatures of drama, blame it on the soap operas (ha!).
Like attracts like.
Notice your ice-breaker conversation the next time you’re in, or leading, a meeting. Weather is used a lot as an ice breaker, depending on how we frame the question. I’ve noticed some ask, “What’s new and good with you today?” Or, in a meeting where you know the attendees well, you may start with sharing gratitude for the day.
Be curious, notice without judgment. Notice how you tell a story. When you catch yourself going toward constriction, just shift and start from the turning point then go toward expansion, the winning outcome. Notice the effect on your energy afterward, it snowballs to the rest of the day.
Experiment with it. Have fun.