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Storytelling, Overcoming the Knowing-Doing Gap, and Engaging the Brain

We tend to think of storytelling as a wonderfully engaging communication tool (when used properly :)). While that's true, I wanted to take a moment to highlight the powerful impact of storytelling (or example-sharing/case studies etc.) from a Neuroscience and difficult change perspective.

Consider this...the link we make in our brain between events and the meaning we assign them literally forms who we are. From a Neuroscience perspective, when stories are constructed a certain way, they reinforce behavior and can get us to change responses (even deeply reinforced ones). Stories can be "programed" directly in our limbic system and become newly acquired autopilot responses and behaviors ...thus making it possible for change facilitators to overcome challenges like the Knowing-Doing Gap.

Check out this fabulous video about how different story designs activate different chemicals in the brain (and as a result trigger different emotional responses). Thanks to Keith Bailey for sharing this great video so we can get an intuitive sense of how designing examples/stories correctly can become a powerful behavior-forming and behavior-changing tools!


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