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TheStoryConnection & Annet Scheringa

The Storytelling Handboek (Scheringa coauthor, 2008) firmly established business storytelling as a method in business in the Netherlands. And ever since the appearance of Storypower – verhalen die je organisatie veranderen (Scheringa, 2013) working with stories has been given a place in organizational change. Both books put storytelling on a solid theoretical foundation.

Organizations and professionals were given a well-founded working method, so they could use the power of stories in a structured way in order to help realize (organizational) goals. Storytelling can now no longer be discounted in communication, leadership and change. And marketing / communication has discovered storytelling as well.

Through TheStoryConnection, Annet Scheringa has introduced hundreds of communication professionals, leaders and organizations to the storytelling methodology. Through publications, training sessions, certified educational courses, conferences and by facilitating organizations and professionals in processes. In 2016 she initiated the founding of the Storytelling Guild with a group of colleagues. To monitor and promote the quality of business storytelling as a craft. But…. what is her own story? What is the story behind TheStoryConnection?

Annet's story

In 2004, my family and I took a yearlong sabbatical. We spent it in the United States. When we returned to the Netherlands, somebody said to me: ‘I am so glad you are back, because I really missed your stories. Whenever I called you or met up with you, you were telling stories. And in your training sessions, too, you often told a story that was both personal and topical. It used to make a topic very real to me.’
I could not let go of that comment. I did not realize that I was often telling stories, yet had been a ‘story-eater’ all my life. I needed to explore what stories could do and meant in a professional setting.

When I started to look into it, I soon noticed that people understood more quickly what I meant to say or teach, through a story. In training sessions, participants got the picture more easily, the pennies dropped sooner. I also saw how stories evoked their emotions, how they dropped their wait-and-see attitude more easily, moved into action and felt more connected: to me as a trainer, to other people in a training group and … to themselves! And I understood that stories are golden in communication between people. Just as language, stories profoundly belong to us. But I did not yet know why stories worked. What the system behind it was.

So I indulged myself in literature, I contacted experts abroad and I started consciously using stories in my work as trainer and advisor. I increasingly understood the underlying theory and kept expanding on it. I discovered what makes a story a story, how stories work and why they work. And I wanted to share this with as many people as possible. So I (co)wrote Storytelling Handboek in 2008 and Storypower – verhalen die je organisatie veranderen in 2013.

Struggle

Nowadays, storytelling is ‘hot’. Many organizations have discovered the power of stories, and that is a wonderful thing. But there is also a downside: many professionals and organizations start using it without really understanding what stories and storytelling is about, without properly mastering the methodology and without being aware awareness of the conditions under which stories and storytelling work in a professional setting. As a result, I see many attempts fail.

My mission

That is why I have made it my mission to make sure that the connecting power of stories and storytelling is carefully used in internal and external communication, change and leadership. This is also the reason why I developed the certified training course to become a skilled StoryPractitioner, why I organized the First Dutch Business Storytelling conference in 2015 (and the second one in 2017) and why I took the initiative in founding the Storytelling Guild.

Through expert use of the power of stories and storytelling, I want to contribute to making sure that organizations have a pleasant work environment. Where people are connected to each other and feel that their activities are meaningful. Especially when small or big changes take place.

That is why

  • We help leaders and managers (of change) to construct a strong, guiding, honest and personal vision story that will inspire and move people;
  • We help managers (of change) and communication professionals gain insight into what the organization truly That way, they can accomplish goals and change quicker and with less resistance;
  • We help communication professionals to be effective advisors;
  • We help organizations develop a credible and recognizable story (core story);
  • We train everyone who wishes to master the art of business storytelling;
  • We have developed two unique and certified courses to all round StoryPractitioner;
  • We organize the Dutch Business Storytelling conferences;
  • We took the initiative in connecting Business Storytellers in the Netherlands: the Storytelling Guild.

Do you want to start using storytelling yourself? Read about our different training sessions. Or take one of our unique, certified courses to StoryPractitioner. Both are in Dutch. But Every course and training we provide can be tailor-made into an in-company project in English.

Truly connecting people in organizations through stories and storytelling. That is what TheStoryConnection stands for!

The Storytelling Guild

The Storytelling Guild is a partnership of professional StoryPractitioners in the Netherlands. Together, we want to ensure and improve the quality of the storytelling trade. Together, we take responsibility for the expert and effective use of storytelling in the Netherlands.