要有影響,就說故事──TO HAVE AN IMPACT, TELL YOUR STORY

幾年前我參加全國性的會議時,我享受於聆聽各種優秀的主題演講。然而,其中有一些總特別令人難忘,我很好奇到底是什麼讓這些演講在我心中留下特別的地位呢?我知道那不僅僅是演講者的專業水平而已,我意識到的是當那些企業家分享個人故事時,會讓我留下最深刻的印象。

他們不是專業的演講者,而是一群企業家造成了改變與不同。有些透過他們的產品或服務對世界產生影響;有些則透過他們的慷慨而改變他們的社區和世界。他們的信息都非常好,然而卻是他們的故事(根據他們企業所發生的事情)—才最觸動觀眾的心。

當我環視會議室時,我發現許多與會的領袖因著聽到的故事變得極度受到激勵。我猜想在接下來的一年,可能會有更多新鮮的故事會被傳講,甚至包括一些在這裡受到故事啟發的人。

為什麼故事會這麼有果效?其中一個原因是因為它們把我們想傳達的原則和實踐,用圖像表現出來,或稱之為「口述印象」。對產品、服務甚至理念有強烈的熱情是好的,但透過故事的力量闡述「為什麼這麼重要」,將會更好。故事會在我們的腦海中創造了圖像,賦予原本無形的概念有血有肉的身軀。

這種說故事的策略並不新鮮。即使是幾千年前所寫的聖經,也廣泛用故事來傳達永恆的真理。事實上,有一段經文說:「你們要稱謝耶和華,因他本為善;他的慈愛永遠長存!願耶和華的贖民說這話,就是他從敵人手中所救贖的。」(詩篇 107篇1-2節)。

當耶穌基督在世上服事時,祂了解故事的影響力。這就是為什麼在馬太福音、馬可福音、路加福音和約翰福音四本福音書中的所有教導,我們最記得的都是祂說的故事,祂稱之為比喻。例如,即使在當今日益世俗化的世界中,我們也經常聽到路加福音第 10 章中提到「好撒瑪利亞人」的故事。

這個故事是一個猶太人在路上被強盜毆打,丟到一旁等死。兩個宗教領袖看到了他,不但沒有停下來幫忙,反而是繞過他走到路的另一邊。一個撒瑪利亞人從他身邊經過,撒瑪利亞是一個被猶太人憎恨的種族,卻停下來幫忙,不僅包紮這個人的傷口,還為他提供了一個可以休息和療養的地方。

直至今日,我們還經常聽到一些「好撒瑪利亞人」的新聞報導,他們無私甚至可能是犧牲了自己,停下來幫助那些迫切需要幫助的人。耶穌用這個故事來說明祂所說的兩條最大的誡命:「你要盡心、盡性、盡力、盡意愛主─你的 神;又要愛鄰舍如同自己。」(路加福音 10章27節)。

在故事的結尾,耶穌問道:「你想,這三個人哪一個是落在強盜手中的鄰舍呢?」」 (路加福音 10章36節)。耶穌也說了其他許多令人難忘的比喻,但從這一個例子中我們可以看到故事的長遠影響力。我們可以從中學到什麼?很簡單:如果你想激勵他人達到更高的高度,請分享你的故事。

© 2021 版權所有非傳統商業網路(前身為純全資源中心)。節錄自和 Rick Boxx 的純全時刻,這本刊 主要 是從基督徒的角度來探討職場上正直這個主題。如果希望知道更多關於這個事工或是想訂閱每純全時 刻,請上這個網站: www.unconventionalbusiness.org. Rick Boxx 最新出版的書「提供實五個關鍵的神 的方法來建立企業。」  

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想要閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考以下經文

因經文較長,請參閱以下未列出的經文路加福音5:17-26、路加福音8:1-15、約翰福音20:10-18):
申命記 6章4-9節
6:4 「以色列啊,你要聽!耶和華─我們 神是獨一的主。
6:5 你要盡心、盡性、盡力愛耶和華─你的 神。
6:6 我今日所吩咐你的話都要記在心上,
6:7 也要殷勤教訓你的兒女。無論你坐在家裏,行在路上,躺下,起來,都要談論。
6:8 也要繫在手上為記號,戴在額上為經文;
6:9 又要寫在你房屋的門框上,並你的城門上。」
馬太福音 7章24-27節
7:24 「所以,凡聽見我這話就去行的,好比一個聰明人,把房子蓋在磐石上;
7:25 雨淋,水沖,風吹,撞著那房子,房子總不倒塌,因為根基立在磐石上。
7:26 凡聽見我這話不去行的,好比一個無知的人,把房子蓋在沙土上;
7:27 雨淋,水沖,風吹,撞著那房子,房子就倒塌了,並且倒塌得很大。
路加福音 4:1-13
4:1 耶穌被聖靈充滿,從約旦河回來,聖靈將他引到曠野,四十天受魔鬼的試探。
4:2 那些日子沒有吃甚麼;日子滿了,他就餓了。
4:3 魔鬼對他說:「你若是 神的兒子,可以吩咐這塊石頭變成食物。」
4:4 耶穌回答說:「經上記著說:『人活著不是單靠食物,乃是靠 神口裏所出的一切話。』」
4:5 魔鬼又領他上了高山,霎時間把天下的萬國都指給他看,
4:6 對他說:「這一切權柄、榮華,我都要給你,因為這原是交付我的,我願意給誰就給誰。
4:7 你若在我面前下拜,這都要歸你。」
4:8 耶穌說:「經上記著說:當拜主─你的 神,單要事奉他。」
4:9 魔鬼又領他到耶路撒冷去,叫他站在殿頂(頂:原文是翅)上,對他說:「你若是 神的兒子,可以從這裏跳下去;
4:10 因為經上記著說:主要為你吩咐他的使者保護你;
4:11 他們要用手托著你,免得你的腳碰在石頭上。」
4:12 耶穌對他說:「經上說:『不可試探主─你的 神。』」
4:13 魔鬼用完了各樣的試探,就暫時離開耶穌。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你能想起這種透過故事的力量傳達重要概念和想法的經驗嗎?例如,有人講了一個故事,在他或她說完之後很久你仍然記憶猶新?
  2. 你認識的人當中,誰最會講故事?你覺得自己用講故事來傳達想法的成效如何?要成為一個有影響力的說故事者有哪些挑戰?
  3. 最好的故事往往不是我們重複聽別人講的故事,而是我們從自己的生活和經歷中淬煉出的故事。你認為原因是甚麼?
  4. 你可以透過哪些方法來磨練自己運用故事的技能?特別是當你要嘗試說服人們,考慮對你和他們都非常重要和具有價值的事情時?

TO HAVE AN IMPACT, TELL YOUR STORY

By Rick Boxx

While attending a national conference some years ago, I enjoyed listening to a variety of excellent keynote speakers. Some of them, however, seemed particularly memorable. I wondered what had made them stand out in my mind. I knew it was not just their levels of expertise. Then I realized the business owners who shared their personal stories were the ones that had impressed me the most.

These were not professional speakers, but rather, entrepreneurs who are making a difference. Some are having an impact on the world through their products or services; others are changing their communities and the world through their generosity. Their information was excellent, but their stories – accounts on what is happening through their enterprises – were what touched the hearts of people in the audience.

As I scanned the meeting room, it occurred to me that many of the leaders in attendance were becoming highly motivated through the stories they heard. I suspected that the following year, there would likely be a fresh crop of stories to be told, including some from those who were being inspired.

Why are stories so effective? One reason is that they provide a picture, what you might call a “verbal image,” of the principles and practices we are trying to convey. It is one thing to have strong enthusiasm for a product, service or even ideas. But it is better to show – through the power of stories – why they are important. Stories create images in our minds, giving flesh and bones to otherwise intangible concepts.

This story-telling strategy is hardly new. Even the Bible, written thousands of years ago, uses stories extensively to communicate its timeless truths. In fact, one passage says, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story” (Psalm 107:1-2).

When Jesus Christ was conducting His earthly ministry, He recognized the impact of stories. Why do you think that of all His teachings included in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, what many of us remember most are His stories, which He also called parables? For instance, even in today’s increasingly secularized world, we often hear references to “the good Samaritan,” recounted in the 10th chapter of Luke.

The biblical account is about a Jewish man beaten up along a highway by robbers and left to die. Two religious leaders saw him, but rather than stopping to assist, they moved to the other side of the road and passed him by. It was a Samaritan, a race of people hated by Jews, who stopped to help, not only binding the injured man’s wounds but also paying for a place where he could rest and recuperate.

To this day, we often hear news reports about some “good Samaritan” who selflessly – maybe even sacrificially – stops to provide aid for someone in desperate need. Jesus used this story to illustrate what He called the two greatest commandments, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27).

At the end of the story, Jesus asked, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” (Luke 10:36). He presented many other memorable parables, but we can see the enduring power of stories from this single example. What can we learn from this? It is simple: If you desire to inspire others to even greater heights, share your story.

Copyright 2021, Unconventional Business Network. Adapted with permission from “UBN Integrity Moments”, a commentary on faith at work issues. Visit www.unconventionalbusiness.org to sign up for UBN Integrity Moments emails. UBN is a faith at work ministry serving the international small business community.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Can you relate to this idea of communicating important concepts and idea through the power of stories? What is an example of someone telling a story that remained with you long after he or she had stopped speaking?
  2. Who is the best storyteller that you know? How effective are you at telling stories to convey your thoughts? What are some of the challenges to being or becoming an effective storyteller?
  3. Often the best stories are not ones we repeat that we have heard told by others, but ones we can draw from our own lives and experiences. Why do you think this is the case?
  4. What are some ways you could hone your skills in the use of stories, especially when you are trying to persuade people to consider something that is very important to you that you believe would also be of great value for them?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 4:1-13, 5:17-26, 8:1-15; John 20:10-18


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