“Stories are contextual. They begin long before a professional goal has been achieved, fueled by incidents that have deeply impacted the teller. Workshop organizers, who ask me to help women learn to convey their professional accomplishments more confidentially, usually overlook this essential backstory. ‘Men speak up all the time,’ they tell me. ‘Why don’t we do the same?’
There’s no denying that such an approach to communication is valuable, particularly since so many companies have been built and are still operated by men, for whom competitive chest-banging impresses management and clients alike.
But women who do this, negate a quality that is essential to their spiritual and physical being, namely, the quiet but deeply meaningful ways they have affected organizations and individual lives. When shared, their stories move and instruct us without boasting. There is nothing more sustainable than a story that touches us emotionally. From a storyteller’s lens, this is more persuasive than any amount of self-promotion.”