• Allison Hammond, Ed.D.

Stories are Important

Hi, this is Allison with ResponsAble People.

A part of the MAP Process is called the Story that is the first step

when we start to do a MAP. The Story is really important.

Whether you're focusing on a person or you're planning for a group The Story really gives us a lot of information.

Often when you get together with a group to plan there might be an icebreaker or there might be some kind of get to know you activity,

but we don't take the time to really get to know the people in the group through their stories. If we're going to start with people in planning,

we need to start with the story.

Personal stories are really what I call a gem. You can in mine all kinds of information when you learn about people's stories. Information you can actually use as you move forward in the process.

When we ask for the Story, we don't ask people to tell their complete historical biography. We frame their stories with the subject is at hand.

In the MAP Process, you might be getting ready to do a new initiative with a group or with a person. Maybe the person is going through a transition in their life, or maybe you have a group of co-workers that’s trying to work through moving forward with a solutionfor something that's come up in their jobs. So we frame the storytelling by asking three questions:

1. Tell a story about a time earlier in your life that is related to the subject of the Plan

2. Tell a story about a more recent experience related to the subject.

3. Tell a story an experiences that just happened related to the subject.

Recently, I facilitated a MAP meeting for a group at my church working on anti-racism and we spent an hour with people sharing their stories related to their experiences with systemic racism.

As the facilitator, I started getting nervous that people are going to get antsy

and think we should move on. What actually happened was that people were fascinated by each other’s’ experiences.

We get three things from listening to people’s stories. We learn about their Hearts, Heads and Hands.

· Hearts – what are people passionate about

· Heads – what do people know and can teach us

· Hands – what can people do and demonstrate

You may have seen this picture of an iceberg.

When we first meet people or even people that we've been working with often

we only know the tip of the iceberg. What we see. What we've experienced of the person, but when they get to share their Story we get to know what's really there. What you can't see. Even if you've known people for a really long time you may only really have seen parts of this part of the iceberg.

So, I encourage you not to be afraid of taking time to share stories.

Contact me at or

Let's get together. Talk about your story and how you can move your story forward through a MAP.


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