Storytelling at Work
April 18, 2019
The Idiot Savant's Guide to the Power of Storytelling

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Click here to listen (and view) my November 22nd webinar on storytelling in the workplace. Entertaining, mind opening, and practical. Hosted by the good people at PatSnap.

If you are interested in learning why and how storytelling is the ideal way to increase employee engagement, build community, transmit tacit knowlege, and spark a mindset of innovation, this will be a very good use of 48 minutes.

"He that tells the stories, rules the world." (Hopi Indian saying)

Microlearning for aspiring innovators
More goodies on storytelling
MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:11 AM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2019
More About Woodstock (storytelling) Wisdom Circles

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If you are interested in attending one or more of the upcoming Woodstock Wisdom (storytelling) Circles on April 10, 24; May 8, 22; June 5, 19) click on the following links for more information about what they are, what people are saying about them, topics likely to be addressed, and background on yours truly.

I've also included links to my two books on storytelling. Onward!


Woodstock Wisdom Circles

Testimonials
Ground rules
The kinds of storytelling topics people are interested in
Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling at Work
MitchDitkoff.com

Continue reading "More About Woodstock (storytelling) Wisdom Circles"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2019
77 Inspiring Quotes on Uncertainty and Letting Go

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"I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few." - Brene Brown

"The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers." - Erich Fromm

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity." - Gilda Radner

"As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don't deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity." - Pema Chodron

Continue reading "77 Inspiring Quotes on Uncertainty and Letting Go"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2019
Radical Self-Trust

Your story is made up and so is mine. All stories are made up. The question is WHO is making up WHAT? Next time you have 56 uninterrupted minutes, treat yourself to this inspiring interview of Patrick O'Neill by the irrepressible Gail Larsen, author of Transformational Speaking and all around bright light.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2019
The Curious Results of the Wisdom Circle Storytelling Poll

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Curious to know what kinds of stories people find most compelling to share and also listen to, I recently forwarded a 37-item poll to friends, clients, Facebook storytelling groups, and people who have attended one or more of the Wisdom Circles I facilitate. So far, 113 people have chimed in. Here are their responses, on a scale of 1-5.

4.78 -- The appearance of unexpected help
4.74 -- Finding your inner strength
4.71 -- An unforgettable moment with a teacher or mentor
4.71 -- Courage
4.70 -- The most remarkable moment of your life
4.69 -- Forgiveness
4.66 -- Accomplishing the seemingly impossible
4.65 -- Your most creative accomplishment
4.65 -- Gratitude
4.65 -- Overcoming fear
4.65 -- Inner transformation
4.65 -- Taking a risk
4.64 -- Finding your path
4.64 -- The power of intuition
4.62 -- What you've learned from failure
4.61 -- Breakthrough
4.60 -- Perseverance
4.60 -- Going beyond an old belief or assumption
4.60 -- Overcoming a difficult obstacle
4.59 -- Making a big change
4.59 -- An extraordinary encounter with a stranger
4.58 -- Synchronicity

4.58 -- AVERAGE FOR ALL ANSWERS

4.57 -- Letting go
4.57 -- Recovery/resilience
4.55 -- Adaptability
4.55 -- Trust/faith
4.53 -- Asking for help
4.50 -- Healing
4.48 -- A cosmic experience
4.47 -- A life changing dream
4.47 -- Going beyond the call of duty
4.72 -- A paranormal experience
4.44 -- Losing everything
4.43 -- Patience
4.41 -- A rite of passage
4.38 -- Your most embarrassing moment
4.37 -- Almost dying

Continue reading "The Curious Results of the Wisdom Circle Storytelling Poll"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2019
When the Muses Dance in San Miguel de Allende

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The first time, in 2003, that Parisian-born artist, Evelyne Pouget saw the indigenous dancers of San Miguel de Allende making their way up Canal to the Jardin, she was stunned. Never before had she seen anything like it, not in her home country of France, nor in the many countries she had lived or traveled to -- 500 people adorned with feathers, beads, body paint, animal skulls, and headdresses, all moving together, with great intention, to the beat of their tribal drums.

Continue reading "When the Muses Dance in San Miguel de Allende"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2019
Woodstock Wisdom Circles Beginning on April 10th

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Woodstock, New York is famous for a lot of things -- the 1969 music festival, it's creative community, spirit of freedom, laid back lifestyle, mountain views, Tibetan monastery, Halloween parade, and Santa's Christmas appearance on the town green, just to name a few. One thing it is NOT famous for, at least not yet, is its Wisdom Circles.

Continue reading "Woodstock Wisdom Circles Beginning on April 10th"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2019
JUMP START COACHING for ASPIRING AUTHORS and STORYTELLERS

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If you are an aspiring author or storyteller, but find yourself stuck, spinning your wheels, or needing support to write your book, you are in good company. Most people who want to write a book experience something similar. It's normal. But it's also frustrating -- especially when you know you have something meaningful to share with the world and the clock is ticking.

This is precisely why I have launched Jump Start Coaching for Aspiring Authors -- a simple way for wannabe writers (with a budget) to get their act together.

Continue reading "JUMP START COACHING for ASPIRING AUTHORS and STORYTELLERS"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 07:48 AM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2019
The Visual Storytelling Raffle

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Stories can be told in many ways: oral, written, and visual being three of the most common. Indeed, a picture is often worth a thousand words -- or in the case of Linda Laino, way more. A giclee of the Mandala above can be yours for just $10 if you enter (and win) Linda Laino's super cool raffle, just launched today. The drawing will be on April 9th. All you need to do is go to PayPal.com, enter Linda's email address (lalaino@yahoo.com), and pay $10. Simple. PS: The mandala she is raffling off retails for $175. Support the arts (and the artists who make the art). Give yourself a chance to win a beautiful piece of art!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2019
The Science Behind the Healing Power of Story

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Excerpted from Native Hope

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2019
How the Inuits Use Storytelling to Teach Their Children

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Click here to learn about how the Inuits of the Arctic Circle use storytelling to teach their children. Curiously, a recent study has confirmed that good storytelling skills, among 89 tribes of indigenous people, are prized more than hunting skills or medicinal knowledge. Wow!

Big thanks to Carole Clement for tuning me into this.

MitchDitkoff.com
Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling at Work

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

It's Never Too Late to Choose Life

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My mother died at 83, on her way from her favorite chair in the living room to the bathroom. Her falling, explained my father, didn't make a lot of sound, other than the clanking of the oxygen machine which had been her steady companion for the past three years. The doctor said it was a heart attack that killed her, but the heart attack was a result of her emphysema, which was a result of her smoking unfiltered Chesterfields since the age of 15.

Magazine ads in the 1950's actually declared that smoking was good for you. They did not mention the fact that nicotine was just as addictive as heroin. Nor did they mention the fact that tobacco is the leading risk factor in 22% of all cancer deaths. In 2018 that would be equivalent to 2,100,000 people wheezing their way to the grave.

My mother, who loved to play canasta, do cross word puzzles, and hug me, had a heart of gold, but that heart of gold gave out one Tuesday evening in West Palm Beach. It beat for the last time and I would no longer have a mother. Nor would my sister have a mother. Nor would my three nieces have a grandmother. And my father would live alone for the rest of his life.

Ten years after my mother's death, it was my sister's time. She was 70 and had been smoking Salems since she was a teenager. The first time my father discovered she had taken up smoking he took the entire pack of cigarettes and jammed them into her mouth. His "quit smoking" technique didn't work. My sister continued smoking, even after she was diagnosed with lung cancer at 66 -- a cancer that later migrated to her brain and killed her.

Two years after her death, I got a call from Phillip Morris, the makers of Marlboro, Benson & Hedges, and yes, Chesterfields. They had heard about my work an innovation consultant and were wondering if I was available to design and facilitate a big offsite for them.

It was not a difficult decision for me to decline their invitation.

Looking back, I wish I had made more of an effort help my mother and sister kick the habit. That is one regret I have in life -- one I am still in the process of forgiving myself for. But in their memory, it is not too late to reach out to you and all the people you know who are addicted to cigarettes. There is help out there. There is.

Just a few weeks ago, I learned that my good friend, Joseph Bennett (a former smoker for 32 years) has created an online course to help people kick the habit once and for all. Joseph is one of the most committed and soulful people I know. He is a man of great passion and integrity, a man who has understood that one of his purposes in life is to serve.

And so, In honor of my mother, Sylvia, and my sister, Phyllis, I invite you, from the bottom of my heart, to see if Joseph's online course -- which he calls Quit in 21 resonates with you. And if you, yourself, are not a smoker, but have a mother, father, sister, brother, friend, uncle, aunt, neighbor, grandparent, teammate, co-worker, or child who is, consider forwarding the link to them.

It's never to late to choose life.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:21 AM | Comments (1)

March 11, 2019
Wisdom Circle Testimonials

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A Wisdom Circle is an enjoyable two-hour gathering of 6-12 people for the purpose of sharing meaningful, personal stories with each other -- stories that convey insights, deep feeling, and moments of truth. What follows are a sampling of testimonials from some of the people who have attended a recent series of Wisdom Circles in San Miguel de Allende.

"I didn't know what to expect when I first attended the wisdom circle; I had brought pen and paper, prepared for note taking and homework. Half way through the evening I found myself spell bound by the spinning of tales and stories, notebook forgotten. What if, in every day life, we paid attention to the stories of our peers with the same focus and respect? What would happen if we gave a child, a friend or and spouse 10 minutes of undivided, uninterrupted attention? At the closing of the Wisdom circle that night, I felt that I had been given the opportunity to glance at the human soul, under the gentle guidance of Mitch Ditkoff." -- Carole Clement

"I attended one of Mitch's wisdom circles for the first time last night, and left feeling uplifted, connected, and heard. Sitting together in community, listening to others' stories and unique perspectives on life, and bearing witness to one another's experiences is not only powerful, but healing. These circles are a microcosm of how I hope society at large might one day function -- truly seeing those around us, valuing them, and recognizing we are on a journey together in our shared humanity." - Karen Kinney

"There is no doubt in my mind that Mitch is offering a service to the community that is of enormous value through his facilitation of the Wisdom Circles. There is indeed great wisdom in exploring our own stories; in speaking them, sharing them and allowing them to be witnessed. The feedback, insights and questions from Mitch and the other participants open a door for us to reconsider from different perspectives that which we too often have only seen from one angle for too long, perhaps causing an inflexibility in our attachment to our story. It is quite possible to hold something too dear and too tightly; to offer that up to a group is to open to a larger picture and to yield to the process of letting go. I much admire the ease and gentleness with which Mitch creates a safe container for that offering and release. I admire how he cherishes the offering with his careful listening and how he facilitates its blooming through his kind and keen questions. I highly recommend the Wisdom Circle to anybody who feels that they have a story to tell, especially if they feel that they don't." -- Carlos F. Chancellor

"My Wisdom Circle evening was a heartwarming event. The remarkable stories we heard created an instant community of trust and empathy. I felt embraced by everyone. I went with one story to share in mind, but the stories others told tapped into a very different place in me, and a story that surprised me emerged from me. The experience gave me a new insight that stunned me, or really, it was an old insight that I had forgotten about and was deeply happy to have back. The Circle was a beautiful, totally engaging evening." -- Susan Page

"I went to my first Wisdom Circle with some interest, but as the first session unfolded, my interest piqued. Mitch is a wonderful, caring facilitator and he draws out the best in people. I am hooked with the experiences that I am receiving in The Wisdom Circle. I find that days after I leave The Wisdom Circle I am still reflecting on the stories told. I had no idea that someone else's experience told in a story could affect me so deeply and would have an impact on my future thoughts. Mitch is interested and caring in his duties as the mediator. I love going and look forward to the experience with great anticipation." - Robyn Johnson

"One of the biggest takeaways I had from the Wisdom Circle was the importance of listening. I couldn't help but notice how my mind was constantly wanting to interject during other people's stories. Whether it was a joke, a comment of acknowledgment, or even just wanting to say 'yeah sure'. But through the process of listening to each person's story, really paying attention, and clearly hearing what it was that they had to say, I found that it was not only an enriching experience, but also something I've begun to implement in my day-to-day life." - Jon Jeffers

"I went to Mitch's Wisdom Circle last week. It's really a storytelling circle. It was wonderful. This was my first time attending a storytelling gathering where I would be participating. Mitch is a great facilitator. And the space was loving and safe, with wonderful people, none of whom I had met before, but two hours later felt like I had six new friends. It's an inspiring environment that naturally evokes the sharing of stories. I'm going again." - Sharon Jeffers

"The Wisdom Circle evening I attended was not only stimulating, but conjured up stories of my own I hadn't even remembered, until my memory was stirred by the others in the circle. Mitch made us feel safe and appreciated in sharing our stories and created an evening of ambiance, gratitude and mutual appreciation -- a place to be real.' -- Sher Davidson

"The whole experience renewed my interest in listening to, writing, and telling stories." -- Jean Paul Peretz

"I appreciate your orientation -- that sharing our stories with one another is a beautiful way that humans support and teach and enrich one another. It is also a way to build community. Most of all, in hearing one another's stories we are aware of our shared, flawed, exquisite humanity. I feel you do a very good job of bringing all this forward, of inspiring, of creating a space for this to happen." -- Diana Kuper

MitchDitkoff.com
Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling at Work

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2019
The Afghani Cab Driver

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A four-minute story of a moment I had with an Afghani cab driver in Minneapolis that changed my life and the way in which I looked at the world.

Excerpted from this book
Storytelling for the Revolution
MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2019
Are Your Stories Serving You?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2019
Another Lifetime

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One thing that is cool about telling a story is that almost anything in the world can spark it -- a glance, a kiss, a word, a chance meeting on the street, almost dying, a dream, an argument or, with respect to what follows, a past life regression. Speaking of which, it is not at all unlikely that you, upon reading the phrase "past life regression" in the previous sentence may already be telling yourself a story about the value of reading the still-unread narrative below.

"Flaky," you might be thinking. "New Age mumbo jumbo." "Man overboard."

Continue reading "Another Lifetime"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:58 AM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2019
Jump Start Coaching for Aspiring Hudson Valley Authors and Storytellers

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If you are an aspiring author or storyteller in the Hudson Valley, but find yourself stuck, spinning your wheels, or needing support to write your book, you are in good company. Most people who want to write a book experience something similar. It's normal. But it's also frustrating -- especially when you know you have something meaningful to share with the world and the clock is ticking.

This is precisely why I have launched Jump Start Coaching for Aspiring Authors -- a simple way for wannabe writers (with a budget) to get their act together.

Continue reading "Jump Start Coaching for Aspiring Hudson Valley Authors and Storytellers "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

The Magical Science of Storytelling

MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:30 AM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2019
INTRODUCING: The Wisdom Circles of San Miguel de Allende

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San Miguel de Allende is famous for a lot of things -- its diverse culture, colonial architecture, hot springs, cobblestone streets, affordable living, great restaurants, town square, benevolent people, and Writer's Conference, just to name a few. One thing it is NOT famous for, at least not yet, is its Wisdom Circles.

If you have not heard of Wisdom Circles, you are in good company because they are a new phenomenon in San Miguel. Created by Mitch Ditkoff, organizational change agent, and author of Storytelling at Work, and Storytelling for the Revolution, Wisdom Circles are a fascinating, new way to build community, elevate the conversation, and transmit wisdom one story at a time.

Continue reading "INTRODUCING: The Wisdom Circles of San Miguel de Allende"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2019
Solomon the Storyteller

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:58 AM | Comments (0)

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April 2019, March 2019, February 2019, January 2019, December 2018, November 2018, October 2018, September 2018, August 2018, July 2018, June 2018, May 2018, April 2018, March 2018, February 2018, January 2018, December 2017, November 2017, October 2017, September 2017, August 2017, July 2017, June 2017, May 2017, April 2017, March 2017, February 2017, January 2017, October 2016, September 2016, August 2016, July 2016, May 2016, April 2016, March 2016, February 2016, January 2016, December 2015, November 2015,
ABOUT THE BLOG

Storytelling at Work is a blog about the power of personal storytelling – why it matters and what you can do to more effectively communicate your stories – on or off the job. Inspired by the book of the same name, the blog features "moment of truth" stories by the author, Mitch Ditkoff, plus inspired rants, quotes, and guest submissions by readers.

Order the book:

Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
FAQ
Do you want to know more about the book before buying it? Click here for Mitch's response to frequently asked questions about Storytelling at Work – the perfect book for people who think they have no time to read.
The Workshop
Storytelling is an "unconscious competency" – an ability we all have that all too often remains inaccessible to us. Enter the Storytelling at Work workshop – a simple way to activate this powerful, innate skill.
Wisdom Circles
Want to establish a culture of storytelling in your organization or community? Looking for a simple way to help people to share their meaningful, memorable stories with each other? Here's how.
Podcasts & Videos
Click here to view and listen to a series of interviews with the author of this blog. Go beyond the written word. Listen. Feel. Elevate the conversation. Understand what the big deal is about personal storytelling.
Blogs 'R Us
If you like this blog, you might also like Mitch's other two blogs: The Heart of Innovation and The Heart of the Matter. Mitch is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.
Idea Champions
When Mitch isn't writing, he's captaining the good ship Idea Champions, a leading edge innovation consulting and training company based in Woodstock, NY. What their clients say.
© IDEA CHAMPIONS