Throughout the course of my adult life I have approached complete strangers and said, “Hi, I’m John, what’s your story?”
And they would tell me…their story.
Once I was at LAX, the international airport in Los Angeles, waiting for a flight back to Atlanta. Sitting at the gate I noticed a gentleman also waiting, but for a different flight. I sat down beside him, relaxed in my seat, and said, “Hi, I’m John, we are never going to see each other again. What’s your story? I would love to hear it.”
And out it came.
His life in detail.
His story that quite possibly he had never shared with another person.
After 15-20 minutes, on the overhead announcement system I heard my flight called.
I shook his hand and thanked him for telling me. And turned and walked away.
In having the opportunity as a public speaker to tell others about my experiences, for some reason, “What’s your story?” resonates with people.
The idea of having someone else, a complete stranger tell them their story seems fascinating.
I really don’t know why people tell me.
But they do.
And I am always amazed, and never shocked to learn of secrets that possibly no one else knows.
To have the corners, the attics and the basements of their lives made available for me to come into and look around…to see what’s there.
To read the pages of the book from which they live.
On a daily basis I encourage business leaders to find the appropriate time, in the appropriate manner to approach the individuals they lead, and say, “What’s your story? I would love to hear it.”
Everyone is a book…waiting to be read.