People have stories to tell, if we will only listen. This is a second critical aspect of using stories for leadership. All too often we view other people’s stories as something to get through so we can say what we have to say. But the stories people tell give us vital information as leaders. We can pay attention for stories about the history of our congregation or institution which will give us key information about potential places for growth, and potential pitfalls, in the present and future. And the stories they tell us about themselves and their families also give us good information about their own functioning which will help make sense of how they act at church.
In addition, when we listen to the stories of others with attention, we develop our relationship with them in ways that can help them, and our leadership as well.