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Wrangle your stories


Have you noticed I tell a lot of stories?  Falling off a cliff.  Deleting 50k lines of code.  The time I was told I didn’t have the, ahem… _backbone_ to manage a department.

You might think I’m naturally a storyteller, but you’d be wrong.  I learned to tell stories the first time I led a development team.  Over the years, I found myself telling the same stories over and over to illustrate my values, pass on (usually painful) lessons, or communicate key points.

Stories seem to teach in a different way than just explaining something.  In addition to teaching, it builds rapport and empathy, especially telling stories of your failures.

At first, it was hard to tell my stories.  Especially my failure stories.  Over time it got easier, and I became more comfortable sharing my failures when it benefited someone on my team.

Leaders tell stories.  
Have you ever thought of your stories like this?  Your winning stories, losing stories and stories of how you overcame adversity?  Stories that inspire, or act as a warning to others?

You might sit down and make a list of some of the stories you’ve found yourself telling as you lead your team.  Creating a written story inventory is a great way to see them with fresh eyes, and you might find new, fresh perspectives on them.

Remember to tell your stories; it’s how your team connects with you.

About Marcus Blankenship

Where other technical coaches focus on process or tools, I focus on the human aspects of your Programmer to Manager transition. I help you hire the right people, create the right culture, and setup the right process which achieves your goals. Managing your team isn't something you learned in college. In fact, my clients often tell me "I never prepared for this role, I always focused on doing the work". If you're ready to improve your leadership, process and team, find out how I can help you.

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