Storytelling at Work
March 30, 2020
Enjoy Family Wisdom Story Circles in the Age of the Coronavirus


This just in from Tanja Kubitza, one of Al Siraat College's front office staffers who recently participated in a three-hour Wisdom (storytelling) Circle training and then, God bless Tanja, applied what she learned by hosting a Wisdom Circle in her own home, with her own family! If you are currently self-isolated, locked down, or quarantined in your home, today would be a great time to follow Tanja's example. At the end of her story, below, I have noted some simple guidelines to increase the odds of your home Wisdom Circle being as beneficial as possible.

And now, here's what Tanja has to say:

"I would like to share with you that I had my first go at facilitating a mini Wisdom Circle at home last night. Earth Hour 2020 provided the perfect background setting to gather my small family tribe around the campfire of candles in our living room.

Tanja cnadles.jpg

At the commencement of Earth Hour at 8:30 pm, we turned off all the lights and power inside the house and came together, in the living room, to reflect on the last couple of days. We started off with some remembrance of God (dhikr) as 'verily, in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest.' (Qur'an 3:28)

We then shared stories of previous times when we were cut off from power for several days in the middle of winter and how we overcame those cold days by the kindness of friends dropping off food and hot drinks while we had no power to cook or access to our tank water which was supplied by electric pump only. The kids remembered doing their homework by candlelight and how I read an entire book to them night after night with them providing me torchlight.

Earth Hour was only meant to last for 60 minutes, but we kept on talking way past 9.30 pm, with my teenage daughters asking me not to turn the lights back on so we could enjoy the candles instead.

"It's so beautiful, serene and peaceful, mom," they said.

After some time, we all fell quiet, without it being an uncomfortable or awkward silence, but rather one of quiet contemplation while being in each other's company.

We have extended Earth Hour to become a regular event in our family.

Last night, my daughters asked me to switch off the lights, again, in favor of candlelight and more storytelling for a few hours until almost midnight. We shared fun stories of our own times at school, back in the day, and some of the mischief we got into."


1. Create a cozy space to meet, ideally in a circle.
2. If you have a fireplace, light a fire. If not, candles are great.
3. One person plays the role of "facilitator."
4. Storytelling is voluntary. No pressure!
5. Five-minute limit for storytelling
6. Consider featuring storytelling themes to prime the pump.
7. When you're not telling a story, you are listening
8. Turn off all cell phones and devices
9. At the end of each story, unpack the story. Ask the storyteller a question... or request more elaboration... or talk about what the story means to you.
10. Cookies! Popcorn! Tea! Juice! Marshmellows! Chocolate!

What is a Wisdom Circle?
Storytelling as a nest, haven, and home base
You have wisdom to share and it is hiding in your stories
My teenage daughter, me, and storytelling
What stories will you tell today?




If you want to participate in one or more FREE online Wisdom Circles, send me an email with "Online Wisdom Circles" in the subject line and I will forward you the schedule as soon as it's ready.

Who am I?
MY BOOK: Storytelling for the Revolution

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at March 30, 2020 10:08 PM

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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.
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.