Narrating Your Story

Narrating Your Story

In all probability, there is no person who does not get transported through the tunnel of time who then wants to know the end of how this particular 'Once Upon A Time' flows. And that is the beauty of narrating a story- the ability to transport someone into a different realm, to help someone imagine a scene, to create an endingall this lie in the way the story is told. 

Telling stories is not a strange thing for any human being. We use stories to reminiscence, convey ideas, cajole, to hurt or to heal, to sell, to laugh at or to create laughter. However, all of this comes to a blinding stop when the story teller trips! 


As an HR professional, I am no stranger to stories. People use stories to explain just about anything - the need for more budgets, the reason for their performance (or non performance), why they were compelled to abstain from work or stay back late and so forth. The stories maybe the same, the narrators different. Some maybe more compelling than the others, some more dramatic. It is very natural to feel the need to justify actions / reasons, and hence, whatever the reason, a story always follows. 


Of all the stories that I have heard or hear, the ones that fascinate me the most are the ones that are narrated by candidates / potential employees. Very often, the stories revolve around similar themes of them seeking more money, looking for better roles, wanting a better organisation, desperate to leave a boss / particular work environment, amongst scores of others. The most credible ones are the ones that embody the truth. 


Many people believe that they know what a specific employer is seeking. Hence, prior to attending interviews, they speak to their friends, read whatever they can find on the organisation and on the interviewers, and prepare by fashioning their answers to hypothetical questions, assuming that is the way to best impress the interviewer(s). While all of these are commendable, fashionable answers do not always work unless they reflect who you are. Seasoned interviewers have enough experience to be able to discern this. 


As people, we just need to realise that the world is large and diverse, made up of enough opportunities for everyone. The key is in keeping a lookout for the right one and waiting. When the stars align, and the doors open, the stories we tell will resonate in all the right corners and in the most optimal decibels. That is when our stories will find the value they possess - significance and relevance. That is the hope of every story teller - that his / her story is different enough to make a difference.

So how do I go about narrating a story?


1. The Right Story . . or not? When based on what I have seen,  experienced, learnt, my story is mine and no one can (or should) tell me that it is wrong. This is how it will always be the Right Story. 


2. The Right Time . .  or not? As thinking beings, we have the power to discern. I would look at the environment, the context, the time, the opportunity, the window, and then narrate the Right Story. 

3. The Right Audience … or not? Who matters? Who should matter? That is all I would look for before I share the Right Story at the Right Time.


In the end, every story teller lives with the hope that the story resonated somewhere. That is the best "Happily Ever After". 

Sreeja Pillai is Head-HR at PAYBACK India. She is a result oriented professional with over 23 years of diverse experience in various industry sectors including Hospitality, IT, Hardware Distribution, Offshoring and Outsourcing. Sreeja holds a Bachelor's degree in Law and an MBA in HR & Marketing from Bharathiar University, Coimbatore. In addition, she has also done a PG Diploma in Advertising & PR.


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