“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
I’m always tempted to make it more complicated than it is.
There is only one reason that I am teaching storytelling to young professionals. I want them to understand – to physically experience and then embody – the truth that stories create “limbic resonance.”
More simply, that stories create connection.
How? The limbic system processes sensory information and compares it to past experience. Since all human beings share a common emotional database, stories that express emotion resonate with our past experience as “true” and therefore trustworthy.
And if the story is trustworthy, the person telling it must be trustworthy, also.
We can explain our qualifications – our competence – ad nauseam and get nothing more than a knowing nod of the head in response. But tell a story about that competence in action, how it made you or others feel, what was hard or joyful about learning it, how you failed and succeeded in applying it, and that will get someone to sit at the edge of their emotional seat.
Limbic resonance = connection.
Connection = trust.
Trust = opportunity.