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Personal Practices: Story
Reading Story

Many people who spend their days creating PowerPoint presentations or working with numbers or patient charts spend their evenings reading professional or technical journals. If this sounds like you, a good personal practice might be to make time for reading story.

Joining a book club is one way to make a commitment to reading fiction or narrative non-fiction. One recreational community whose homeowners are mostly weekenders escaping from busy lives in New York City created a popular short-story group that meets on Saturday afternoons, recognizing that its members would be more likely to fit in a weekly story than commit to an entire book, and wouldn't risk missing a monthly meeting. As you read and discuss stories, pay attention to what makes a story good, worth retelling. How are the most memorable, affecting stories structured?

Make sure you take a highly reviewed book of fiction or narrative non-fiction along on your daily commute or business trip. It could also be a short "fable" illustrating business, leadership, or life lessons. If you drive to work, audiobooks are an option. Then experiment with retelling a story that made an impression on you. Tell your spouse over dinner, or a work colleague over lunch. Incorporate the story into your next presentation.

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