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Rod Webb

Glasstap Limited

Director and Co-Founder

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Why it’s Good to Share Your Stories


Stories have played a massive part in my professional and personal life. Outside of work, I write creatively just for the fun of it. It’s something I’ve loved doing since I was a child. It’s an activity that, because it requires focus, centres me completely in the moment and provides escape from the noise that’s normally buzzing around my head, whilst allowing me to explore and share my imaginings.

In my working life, stories are a vital tool that help me create memorable learning and share ideas in a way that’s ‘sticky’. I’ve used them in activity briefs – for example in the Prisoners of Dongia, or Jack Fruggle’s Treasure Hunt, or to create case studies for business simulation games like Hotel Doldrums or Boosting Glasstap’s Future. Some activities like Witches of Glum and another personal favourite, Murder at Glasstap Grange, are based entirely on a story.

But, of course, stories are more than fiction. Real life is made up of stories, and we’ve used those stories since the dawn of our species to share knowledge, understanding and perceived wisdom. We might tell stories about a hero’s bravery, kindness, or determination. Or their ability and willingness to step into the unknown. Think Rosa Parks or Amelia Lockhart, for example.

But, in focusing on other people’s achievements and experiences, we can sometimes we overlook our own stories. Which is a shame, because we all have a rich resource of anecdotes and personal experiences that we can use to help others see a situation from a new perspective, to connect with others, or to share learning in a way that resonates. 

Here’s one of my stories:

I vividly remember entering a competition to write an animal story at our village school when I was about nine. The writers of the best stories would all win a ticket to our local safari park. But it wasn’t about that for me. I just wanted to be a winner.

You see, even then, I loved words. I read prolifically, and the idea of one day being able to write stories or books that others would read; well, it was the stuff of dreams. So, I laboured over a story about badgers escaping a farm and handed it in, hoping that it might be good enough, but full of trepidation. I can still remember the excitement when the day came to announce the results and our headmaster started to read out the names of those who’d won one of the tickets - and my growing sense of despondency as my name didn’t appear. And then, just when I thought he’d finished, he said something. He said that there wasn’t a first prize, but if there had been a first prize it would have gone to… me! I thought my heart would explode with pride! 

Why did this achievement matter so much to me? Was I an arrogant, egotistical child with a superiority complex? In fact, I was a shy and introverted child, lacking self-belief. My family didn’t really go in for the ‘Oh, that’s a fabulous painting, let’s put it on the fridge’ type of parenting. If something was rubbish Dad would have no hesitation in telling us. So, when that teacher told me I was good at something I absolutely loved, well, his acknowledgement was like a match that ignited my dreams. It was a pivotal moment that helped nurture a passion that has remained with me and rippled through my professional life.  

This story isn’t about stories of course. It’s about the difference one well-placed piece of encouragement can make. It’s about the power you can give others simply by believing in them. And it’s about the influence and impact we can have (positive or negative) through our words and actions – and how the ripples of what we do today can travel far beyond where we can see. 

They say that everyone has a story. One story? No, everyone has a lifetime of stories. And you should never underestimate their power to connect, illuminate or challenge. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to share them or feel inhibited by the emotions attached to them. The true power of stories lies in the emotions at their heart and which they provoke in you and others. Indeed, if a story doesn’t make us smile, laugh, cheer inside, feel pride, make us angry, make us want to cry…. then it’s probably not worth telling. 

Stories are about vulnerability, they’re about honesty and they’re about truth – your truth. And they’re about that emotional connection you make with others; a connection that can add real impact to your message and make it memorable. 

Stories have the power to change people, and ultimately, the world. Listen to other’s and never be ashamed or embarrassed to get out there and share yours. 

Until next time...

One Response

Author Profile Picture
Rod Webb

Director and Co-Founder

Read more from Rod Webb

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