The storytelling class I took with Adam Wade in 2011 was life-changing for a most unexpected reason: I learned that sharing some personal perspective or rumination nearly always sparks a conversation and additional sharing by others. Sharing can be scary, especially if it feels personal in any way. But it strengthens connection, trust, and learning, which have enormous ripple effects. Our class was comprised of 12 strangers of different ages, sectors, and backgrounds, and we all left with connections that led to advice, jobs, and collaborations.
In the next month, why not try to overcome feelings of vulnerability and share something with somebody? You could share a story from a grantee site visit, explain why you added a gender lens to your work, or offer an opinion on how you think open offices do or don't work. You could tell your story of I-wish-I-had-hit-Save-before-the-computer-crashed or your story of risk taking by funding a grassroots organization. Whatever you share, share genuinely and with an open mind toward what may follow. Your story — big or small, personal or work-related — could lay the groundwork for strengthening some aspect of how you approach your work.
This letter originally appeared in yesterday's GrantCraft newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter and special alerts, register for free.