Inspired by North Point Resources
Starting a new group or welcoming a bunch of new people to a group can range from energizing to awkward to overwhelming. One way to build a connection with each other is to be authentic and to understand what has shaped us to be who we are.
There’s no more powerful way to do this than sharing our personal story.
Whether a group leader or a participant, the idea of telling our personal story to almost strangers may seem a little uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be a big production. The objective isn’t to entertain, compare experiences or give a comprehensive account of our life. The idea is to give others a sense of what makes us uniquely us.
But what parts of our story should we tell?
When you consider your story, it’s probably centered around people, places and events that impacted you. Those three areas largely reflect how we interact with the world around us.
One way to organize our thoughts about our story is to make a short list of the things that have shaped us:
Three significant people
Three memorable places
Three pivotal events
Even if there isn’t time to share everything about each one, listing them is a good start. From that list, you can identify the parts of your story that are most important to emphasize. Maybe you’ll talk about one item from each category, or two people and one event, or one place and two events.
It’s your story. You have the freedom to share what you want to share.
One key to remember is to share your story as a gift. It’s meant to reflect who you are – not a burden to weigh others down or a chance to air dirty laundry.
Also remember this: your story is worth sharing and the others will be interested in it as we keep it focused and concise.
Usually, we’re curious about the people around us. And we’re naturally inclined to empathize and connect with others in ways people are similar and different than us.
Our stories have the potential to draw group members closer together and build meaningful relationships. Embrace the opportunity!