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The Nugget Rule

Take what you learn and apply it

The second week of each month brings a multitude of positives, but only one negative. Over the past year, I have committed myself to exploring local networking groups. I have met some wonderfully talented and giving people who are dedicated to the sustainability of our community, and the world.

The list of inspirational and informative speakers at these events is, to say the least, impressive. Local guest presenters constitute a majority of these speakers, while about 20% are bringing a regional and global perspective to these meetings. From grass-roots organizers to multi-millionaires, I opened my ears and listened (a talent I learned through experience with trial and lots of error) to their talks.

This week I blogged about my “Nugget Rule”. I stated that “I apply the “Nugget Rule” before the speaker begins. Listening is a skill that is mastered as practiced. The more you do it, the better you get. I place a quota on both the speaker and myself. They are to deliver one morsel of useful information, and I am to proactively apply it to my life. A tidbit that has been transferred to me via communication osmosis. Filtered from their dense experience and education to my lighter understanding.

If I get more than one morsel, I consider it a very effective and valuable communication opportunity.”

It’s a pretty simple exchange. Consider it a life-lesson trade, but you have to be proactive about it. You or your business has paid for your seat at the event. Take what you’ve learned and apply it in a constructive manner to a corresponding need.

Think back to some of the very basic lessons you learned as a child. Most of them were conveyed in a manner of story. Now go further back. How are historical lessons carried forward through the generations? Through the use of story. Legends are built on story. Ridley Scott is a prolific story tellers using film as his main medium He has produced and directed some of the most acclaimed movies of our time. On the heels of the release of Robin Hood, he currently has 18 films in production, and has told the story of many more. The film industry is in the business of telling stories, and we love it. Lapping up the multitude of offerings, we collectively spend billions of dollars for story. Now add the publishing industry to the big picture, and it gives you a dollars perspective on how important telling a story truly is.

I think of how native cultures use the power of story to teach each generation important lessons in life. Telling a joke to a friend is like sharing a mini-story. Without the goal of purpose and meaning, story would not be effective; actually, it may not even exist. Mark Turner states in “The Literary Mind” that “It is our chief means of looking into the future, of predicting, of planning and explaining….Most of our experiences, our knowledge and our thinking is organized as stories”.

The power within a story is directly related to the effectiveness of the teller and the listener; both individually and collectively. Delivery is just as important as reception of the message. Environment, health barriers and technology are all possible interrupters of the meaning and purpose of story. Being an effective listener is just as important as being a talented presenter.

We are living our own story. Each of us cognizant of the end of our own means. What is your story? Well, it’s what you share with your partner, your children, your co-workers and your friends. In fact, it’s what your sharing with me right now as you read my article. Thanks for that, I appreciate it.

Leave behind a legacy. It’s yours, and only yours to tell. Receive other’s “Nuggets” and give your own. Your kids want to know about your youth. Share it with them. Make it a rule that each time you sit down at the dinner table that at least one story be told. Exercise your imagination and make it up if you have to. Spin a yarn and tell a tale. Pull your family’s leg, and give a wink. It’s worth a giggle or two.

Oh yeah, the negative about networking meetings. Thanks, I almost forgot to cover it. Never mind, I just turned it into a positive. All of the local meetings are held during the same week. There are four. After writing this column, I realized that it’s not such a bad thing to concentrate all of these meeting stories into one week. It gives me the other three weeks to integrate what I’ve listened to and learned before the cycle repeats.

The glory of story is when we apply what we’ve learned to our own lives. It’s what teaches us, brings us together, and helps us grow. It defines who we are and underscores our existence. It sets us apart as individuals, and brings us together as humans. Tell your story, someone is surely listening.

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