How many movies or films that you watch start out with a list of facts of the backstory of the characters? Very few, if any. We don’t start movies with a talking head saying, this is Amos the third of three, born to Dutch immigrants to Canada, and so on. Yet, throughout the film we learn about the backstory of the characters and hinting at why they behave the way they do; we just learn about it through stories, often flashbacks or other story telling techniques.
Film makers use stories, even in documentaries, because they want to connect with our hearts more than our heads. We like stories because we can connect with them emotionally first and then with our heads.
One of the, dare I say, ‘laws’ of change is the need to connect with people’s hearts first, then their heads. It is crucial to remember this. If we are not connecting with people, if people don’t sense that we care and that we ‘see’ them, we make our lives doubly difficult. I’m ashamed to say, I forget this all the time to my determent. I tend to lead with facts and history rather than stories and when I eventually get around to telling a story, I find myself alone with everyone checked out.
In the podcast that went live today, I talk with Phil about being a professional clown in hospitals and elder care homes in Toronto, a tough but also incredibly important gig. We talk about connecting with people and how he makes that connection quickly – the importance of the eyes and mirroring, but also being ok with the awkward. Have a listen to ‘The Eyes and the Awkward‘.