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Stories and Anecdotes 

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Stories have played an enormously important role in the development of civilization and have been used throughout the ages to illustrate learning.

Today, Stories are valuable to the trainer because they deliver key points in a way that is memorable. I, for example, was told the Story of a positive and negative pebble many years ago, and I have never forgotten it. The Story is included in this collection, in a different form, as 'The Wizard'.

Stories weave key learning points into intricate but unique patterns that stick. They can be an effective introduction or conclusion to training. They can also be used as a vehicle to encourage participants to think about an issue. I like to use the Story of "The Chicken and the Fox" without any explanation, for example, and then leave participants to draw their own conclusions from it.

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Li-Li

About

Source:
Unknown.

Related Topics:
• Attitude and Mindset.
• Communication Skills.
• Influence and Persuasion.
• Negotiation Skills.
• Teamwork and Collaboration.

Notes:
This story can be used to illustrate the point that our own behaviour affects the behaviour of others, and that communication and relationships can too easily enter a downward spiral when things go wrong.

It can be a useful inclusion in any training where you want to:
• Demonstrate the importance of recognising when you have failed to build rapport with another party, or where a relationship has been damaged.
• Show the dangers of assuming the blame is on the other side, when negotiations or team relations falter.
• Illustrate how positive action can help rebuild team spirit, or improve relations with a client, customer or supplier, but that instant results are unlikely, particularly where there has been a breakdown in trust.

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My First Day Fishing

About

Source:
Rod Webb.

Related Topics:
• Learning.
• Personal Development.
• Trainer Development.

Notes:
This humorous, but true, story demonstrates the power of experiential learning.

It can be a useful inclusion in any training where:
• You want participants to understand how they learn, and the importance of mistakes in learning.
• You want to develop your trainers' awareness of the importance and value of experiential learning.

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The Bear

About

Source:
Unknown.

Related Topics:
• Attitude and Mindset.
• Change.
• Creativity and Innovation.

Notes:
This short story can be used to highlight the need for organisations to stay ahead of their competitors.

It can be a useful inclusion in any training where:
• You want to show participants that during difficult times, for example periods of economic downturn, companies that are able to adapt to a changing situation fastest and move with greatest flexibility and speed are the ones that are most likely to survive.
• You want to show the importance of creativity and innovation to an organisation. The ability to take new ideas from concept to implementation quickly and effectively can create that space between one organisation and the others.

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The Giant

About

Source:
Unknown.

Related Topics:
• Attitude and Mindset.
• Change.
• Personal Development.

Notes:
This story can be used to encourage participants to think about the nature of fear. It illustrates the tendency to build obstacles up in our minds until they appear insurmountable.

It can be a useful inclusion in any training where:
• You want participants to challenge their own perceptions about what is, and is not possible.
• You want to encourage participants to overcome obstacles or face a challenge.

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The Sales Call

About

Source:
Neil Wilkins, Train2Develop.

Related Topics:
• Attention to Detail.
• Customer Care.
• Influence and Persuasion.
• Information Gathering.
• Marketing and Sales.
• Planning and Preparation.

Notes:
The following story can be used in training around sales and marketing, and in particular telesales training. It demonstrates the importance of honesty and integrity when selling.

This story can be a useful inclusion in any training where:
• You want participants to think about the 'script' they use to sell the organisation's products or services.
• You want to discuss the importance of preparing effectively for a sales call.
• You want to explore the importance of qualifying sales leads.
• You want to demonstrate the value of asking the customer questions, rather than talking at them about your product.

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The Water Bearer

About

Source:
Unknown.

Related Topics:
• Attitude and Mindset.
• Equal Opportunities and Diversity.
• Teamwork and Collaboration.

Notes:
The following story can be used to illustrate the point that each of us has our own unique flaws. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

It can provide a useful inclusion in training where:
• You are looking at the benefits of diversity in a team.
• You want to encourage participants to avoid judging others.

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The Wizard

About

Source:
Unknown.

Related Topics:
• Attitude and Mindset.
• Change.
• Internal Customer Care.
• Motivation and Personal Effectiveness.
• Teamwork and Collaboration.

Notes:
The following story can be used in training around teamwork, and in particular attitudes. You can use it as a prompt for a discussion about the effect as our own words and actions ripple out in an organisation.

This story can be a useful inclusion in any training where:
• Participants talk about 'the organisation', perhaps forgetting that the whole is only a sum of the parts.
• You want to explore the impact local changes can have on an organisation.
• You want participants to examine their own attitudes and the power of positive thinking; showing the impact that positive thinking can have on others.

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