The Stories We Don’t Tell

I stand on the sidewalk in front of my house, chat with Sylvie, my gardener from Quebec. Sylvie tells me of the life challenges her teenage grand-daughter Jordana is facing. Sylvie ends with a sigh.

There’s a story behind every door, she says.

Another sigh.

The slogan in the television ad for, the discovery-your-roots website: Discover your story.

My friend Tom Asacker, branding guru and best-selling author, affirms that We all become the stories we tell ourselves.

In Georgia, my neighbor Philip Friday explains, we say why tell the truth when a lie would be just as good.

These are the outposts in the landscape of personal connection.

Connection to ourselves. Connection to others.

Every executive I have coached this year has on his personal-goal-list the desire to better connect with his team.

Ever since the writings of Brene Brown, we view vulnerability and imperfection as assets rather than liabilities.

Yes, we all become the stories we tell ourselves. The stories we tell ourselves become the stories we tell others. In words. In action.

When we don’t tell stories, our relationships become purely transactional.

We become uninspired.

We become un-inspirational.

We become invisible.

We do not connect where it matters most – and that is, in the end, always the heart.

You want to inspire colleagues and friends?

Take a risk. Start telling a story or two. The ones you don’t normally tell.

What is the story behind your door?

Tell it. And know when to listen to another’s story. Because that is when we connect.

In the US we celebrate Labor Day this week. A day to do nothing.  A day to – YES – shamelessly tell stories.

Labor Day week also signals the end of summer and the slide into fall season.

Why not fall into fall with a new story of two? The stories you haven’t told. The stories you haven’t considered.

Consider them. Tell them.

They will become your fall.