TheStoryConnection & Annet Scheringa

Storytelling Handboek (Scheringa coauthor, 2008) firmly established business storytelling as a method in business in The Netherlands. And ever since Storypower – verhalen die je organisatie veranderen (Scheringa, 2013) was published, working with stories has been given a place in organizational change. Both books put storytelling on a solid theoretical foundation. Annet’s most recent book, Storylistening, explains why storylistening should always preceed storytelling. And that the proof of it all is in storydoing: delivering on your stories’ promises!

The three books provide organizations and professionals with a well-founded working method, so they can use the power of stories in a structured way in order to help realize (organizational) goals. Storywork can now no longer be discounted in communication, leadership and change.

Working from TheStoryConnection, Annet Scheringa has literally introduced thousands of communication professionals, leaders and organizations to the storytelling methodology. Through publications, training sessions, certified courses, conferences and by facilitating organizations, leaders and professionals in change processes. In 2016 she initiated the founding of the Dutch Storytelling Guild: a group of business storytelling experts. 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 made a long cherished dream come true: we took a one year sabbatical and spent it in the United States. When we returned to The Netherlands, I caught up with some of my former clients. One of them welcomed me with a deep sigh and said: ‘Annet, I am so happy you’re back, because I have really missed your stories. Whenever I called you or met with you, you gave me a story. And in your training sessions, too, you often told stories that were both personal and relevant for the training topic. It made information so clear and inspiring to me.’ The remark struck me as lightning! Up until that very moment,  I hadn’t realized that I used stories in my work. Yet I had been a ‘story-eater’ all my life. So the remark left me with the urge to explore the use of stories 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. Participants in my training sessions 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! I understood that stories are ‘gold’ in communication between people. Just as language, stories profoundly belong to us humans. But I had no idea yet why stories worked. What the system behind it was.

So I indulged myself in literature, I contacted experts abroad and I consciously started to use stories in my work as trainer and consultant. I increasingly understood the underlying theory and kept expanding on it. I discovered what makes a story a story, how stories work, why they work and why we humans need and develop them. And I felt a deep longing to share this with as many people as possible. So I (co)wrote Storytelling Handboek (Storytelling Handbook) in 2008, Storypower – verhalen die je organisatie veranderen (Stories that change your organization) in 2013, followed by Eerlijk verhaal maakt van klanten fans (An honest story turns clients into fans) in 2018 and Storylistening in 2020. (Sorry: all books are in Dutch…)


Nowadays, storytelling is ‘hot’. Many organizations have discovered the power of stories, which is wonderful. But there is a downside to the hype: many professionals and organizations start storywork without really understanding what stories and storytelling are about, without properly mastering the skills and without being aware of the necessary conditions to work with stories in a professional setting. And many are not aware that storylistening should always preceed storytelling. As a result, I see many attempts fail.

My mission

That is why I have made it my mission to make sure that the power of stories is carefully used in internal and external communication, change and leadership. This is also the reason why I have developed a certified training course for professionals 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 to found the Dutch Storytelling Guild.

Through promoting and facilitating the careful use of stories in a business context I want to contribute to employee engagement, job satisfaction and organizations as a pleasant work environment – where people are connected to each other and feel that what they do is meaningful. Especially when small or big changes take place.

That is why

  • We help leaders and (change) managers to develop a coherent, guiding, honest and personal vision story that inspires and invites people to take action;
  • We help (change) managers and communication professionals to story-listen in order to really understand what people need to move forward. So organizations can accomplish goals and change easier, with less resistance to change;
  • We help communication professionals to be effective advisors;
  • We help organizations develop a credible and recognizable core story that helps them to truly become who they promiss to be;
  • We train everyone who wishes to master the art of business storytelling and storylistening;
  • We have developed a unique and certified course to becoma an all round StoryPractitioner;
  • We organize the Dutch Business Storytelling conferences;
  • We took the initiative to connect business storytellers in The Netherlands: The Storytelling Guild.

Do you want to work with stories yourself? Read about our training sessions and our unique, certified course to become an all round StoryPractitioner. Both are in Dutch. But every course and training we offer can be tailor-made into an in-company course in English. Just contact us... We love to hear from you!

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 enhance the quality of storywork in a business context. Together, we take responsibility for the careful and expert use of storywork in the Netherlands.