What makes a good story and how can we learn from them?
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“Tell me something I don’t know!” a client recently exclaimed, with a hint of annoyance. We had been huddled around the conference room table, discussing best practices, and “listening” was at the top of the list.
“Of course we know listening is important. We always put patients first and try and use every means possible to listen to our customers. The challenge is finding the time and resources to listen. In some ways, we have to be selective listeners.”
Her frustration is understandable — this time of year in particular, we often set resolutions with the greatest intentions, only to be sidelined by a lack of time or resources or (usually) both.
And so, as we kick off 2019, we’ve been focused on what it means to listen with purpose. How can we identify opportunities to listen, especially if time or budget are limited resources?
At inVibe, we believe it starts with really listening to the stories around us. Stories, or narratives, contain a wealth of valuable information: they can reveal how speakers view themselves, what they find most important, and how they interpret the world around them. To truly listen to a story, it’s important to move beyond simply hearing what is said, and to also consider how it is said and why. For example, did you know most conversations, even short ones, contain identifiable narrative moments? And that speakers change their language in meaningful ways based on their audience?
Read our blog post on how we can use narrative pattern analysis to identify otherwise overlooked insights.
As our professional lives return to their usual hectic cadence, we invite you to listen with renewed purpose to the stories you hear. Notice the stories around you, large and small. Consider the impact of those stories as well — what are your colleagues, family members, or friends trying to communicate? What do they really want you to hear? And why does it matter to them?
If you’re interested in learning more about the way we harness stories to gain insight into customer experiences, explore pivotal moments in a patient’s journey, or identify triggers to behavior change, we’d love to hear from you.
Story originally published January 17, 2019.
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