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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Signature Stories

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


February 19, 2018

We are delighted to share that Bob Garmston’s next publication will be available soon through Corwin Press. The draft title is The Power of Story Telling: How Leaders and Presenters Persuade. Bob has been gracious enough to allow us to give you a little preview this month.

One of the book chapters describes sources of stories including personal stories, stories from the work culture, and stories from specific cultures. One other source is called signature stories. This

…is a story about something that is autobiographically you, that contributes to your uniqueness, and that illustrates a theme in your life. Signature stories can be told many times, to many different audiences…

Most of us don’t think of our lives as signature stories, but we all have one. Finding yours can be a source of grounding for stories in a variety of contexts. Bob describes his as when he stole his birth certificate from the county clerk’s office.

Signature stories, because they are so personal, require consciousness in their use. They are probably not appropriate in a small office setting where personal boundaries for supervision might be important. They are very appropriate for keynotes in capturing the audience and connecting. It is not about bringing attention to oneself or reliving an experience, but instead to emphasize a key point.

What might be some signature stories you could develop in your work?

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