Because I work for a news company, I often share my personal story about how my passion for the industry arose. It goes like this:
My Italian father was on a train to Paris when he noticed a group of soldiers bothering a Portuguese woman as she was trying to read a newspaper. He approached the soldiers, telling them to leave the woman alone. Then he wrote his phone number on the front page of the paper, saying, "If you are ever in Rome, give me a call and I'll show you around."
One year later, he received a call from the woman on the train, who was visiting Italy with a friend. She had kept the paper. That was the beginning of my parents' relationship — and why I can say that newspapers are in my DNA.
A personal narrative is not a fixed thing. Stories are shaped by our environment and by the people who listen to it.
Take the example of Lady Gaga, one of the most famed entertainers (and marketers) of our time. The artist's lyrics are synonymous with storytelling, but it's worth observing that what really makes her public persona and performances memorable. Gaga changes costumes at least six times, often directly on stage. By doing that, she is inviting her fans into her own story creation process.
This is an important strategy we can all learn from. Making our colleagues and customers part of our journey, makes us more likely to establish meaningful connections.