Thursday, January 28, 2010

Facilitation Techniques with Stories

Yesterday I led a complimentary webinar on Facilitation Techniques with Stories. Here's a brief description of the session:

Guiding groups through sense making is challenging yet rewarding. Our job is to help people work with their stories to generate new meanings, learning, and insights. This is not as simple as it may appear. Stories operate on lots of different levels. Unless we become sensitized to the various ways people make sense of their stories, we will miss precious opportunities to help them find meaning that can guide their behaviors in new directions. This 45 minute interactive webinar examines dynamics that surface when groups share their stories and experiences with one another.

Here's the recording...


Nine Ground Rules for Working with Stories in Groups

Facilitator Guide: Helping Others Make Sense of Stories

1. What have been your experiences of working with stories in a group?

2. Have you gone beyond telling a pre-selected story?

3. How have you worked with stories when managing group decision making, strategic planning, negotiating, innovating, etc...?

4. Have you found effective ways of eliciting stories from groups?

Please use this space to share...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Strategic Communications & Chess

What might chess teach us about the nature of strategic communications in an organization? And what's the connection with stories?

Join me for another 2 minute video as I explore these questions and offer two, "P's" of strategic communications.
These two ideas are hardly the beginning of a conversation. Can't say it all in two minutes and neither can one person.

Take a moment and reflect on the game of chess and then share your thoughts of the other ways chess informs our ideas of strategic organizational communication. And for crying out loud...if you've got a story about chess start divulging!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Waves & Organizational Stories

"We are connected through meaning. Stories manifest our being. Fluctuating variations pierce placid surfaces of possibilities."

The waves of the Asilomar Coastline in Monterey, California act as a backdrop for some thoughts about the nature of stories in organizations.

How are you working with stories in your organization? What metaphors best describe your work and expectations?

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Today, January 14th I am celebrating my 9th wedding anniversary with my beloved bride Cindy. I look back and the time has passed in a flash. Nine years later, two beautiful children, plenty of ups and downs but a relationship deepened and blessed by the "throes of outrageous fortunes."

Life is truly sweet. For whatever bitterness and pain and confusion there are gems in the offing waiting to find there way to our hearts. On this happy day and memory, I pause to send forth the joy I am feeling in my heart to the people of Haiti who have just suffered a horrible tragedy. May aid to them in all forms be swift and thorough, And may from the rubles there be a Phoenix of good, hope, prosperity, and joy be found for everyone tied to this story. We all are tied to the story whether we feel or it not.

I want to share a song I wrote and sang for Cindy at our wedding. There is also a video below. The words so perfectly describe Cindy and what have proven to be the most precious gifts in our relationship...

Her gentle spirit deep & true
Fills me with wonder anew

Her bright warm heart, tender and sweet
Opens with kindness each time we meet

Her shy and pretty face attentive and fair
Beams with goodness when I'm in her care

Her sharp quick mind, sensitive and clear
Listens with patience when I am share my fears

And now we face, a joyous new life,
with dreams and hopes as husband and wife...

May God's blessings guide my joy and my pride,
Forever and ever...
Cindy my Bride

In a flurry of typical creative tornado my father and I wrote the song days before the wedding, rehearsed it twice with piano and of course never rehearsed it with the band. At the wedding my father and mother were still teaching me the song and coaching me. There are great photos of me trying to eat, conferring with my parental musical mentors, and keep it a surprise from Cindy. Furtive dry rehearsals for the few moments she stepped away from the table.

Cindy and I were so taken and moved by the song. It haunted us in the most beautiful way during our honeymoon. Washing over us in waves. To this day the song brings both of us great peace.

Thank you for indulging my stories and memories. Weddings shower us with a renewal of love. The rite of love is mysterious and it cannot escape our attention regardless of creed, belief, race or cultural. Each of us with our own love songs and coffer brimming with stories and questions that sweeten our journey. If you are so inclined, share a piece of your journey with others in this space. I hope what I have shared triggers much richness for you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Stories & Fire

Fire is a wonderful metaphor for understanding some of the subtleties of stories. Spend two minutes with me and reflect on what light fire can cast on our understanding of stories...

In what ways are fire and stories related to you?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Epiphany - Perfect Time for Story Insights

Wow...2010...I'm not one to make resolutions but I am interested in trying something new. I thought I would begin to blog more frequently by including video messages as a part of my blog.

So on the this day of Epiphany I thought it was a great time to reflect and share the gift of video blogging. The gift will only be complete if you add your voice to the conversation and if whatever I share becomes a catalyst for your own insights.

Terrence Gargiulo - Video Blog - January 6 from Terrence Gargiulo on Vimeo.

Thank you for stopping to share this story space with me.