Vitality Presenter Profile

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A Conversation with Michael Margolis of StoryU

Leaders, in business and life, want to help people change in positive ways. But how do you gain the influence to do so… and engage people to motivate change? Michael Margolis says it starts with authentically telling your story:

“Here is how you invite people into relationship: If you become more comfortable with sharing the things that really matter to you, then you will exponentially attract people who have meaning to you and who can help you. We all discount our life experiences. We take for granted that nobody wants to know, but they do.”

Michael is an expert in the power of storytelling in life and business. As founder of StoryU, he works with coaches and trainers as well as leading brands like Bloomberg, SAP, and Greenpeace on how to empower innovation and humanize their message.

Michael vitality15will be one of Six Seconds’ presenters on Friday, March 20, at Vitality, our annual online Emotional Intelligence conference. He’ll share the power of story as a tool for change. Click here for details on his webinar, and to save your spot.

What is Storytelling Today?

“Quite simply: the humanization of business. It goes by the name of workplace culture, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, innovation, and user experience. There is a new vernacular, a new tone of voice, of how people want to be seen, not by an external audience, but by people and by themselves.”

In a digital age, owning the facts and tone and emotional content of one’s story becomes a new challenge. Michael says, “Before any business meeting, you can Google the people you’re meeting with. Google is now the background check. There is a way in which people are interacting with your story before they meet you; even as you are sleeping. There is a moment of self-awareness. It can be paralyzing, but then you realize you are being hired because of your story. So how do we engage with that authentic external image?”

Coaching Your Story

Michael says helping professionals tend to hide the light of their stories under a barrel. “If you’ve been trained as a facilitator, there is a huge school of thought that there is a removal of your own story. Coaches are humble. I’ve been speaking with a lot of deeply committed coaches and consultants who come up against themselves. A lot of what we teach is the more you know yourself, the better you can serve others.”

How does he help people to find their genuine and authentic story? Michael’s message aligns closely with Six Seconds Model of Emotional Intelligence: Know Yourself, Choose Yourself, Give Yourself. It starts with self-insight:

“We look at our work as a body of work, as a practice. Many of our coaches come out of Zen and mindfulness traditions. By bringing the emotional content into it, we bring alive its meaning. When you meet people, more than any statistics or facts, you are going to remember the emotional content that their story is wrapped around, and then you can’t take that objective stance. Because we live in this hyper-communication age, we are suspicious of anybody communicating at us. We are trying to filter for their motivation. But the more you can connect your own story to your message, they will immediately trust you.”

Fueled by Emotion

Six Seconds Model teaches that having a noble goal provides the power to catalyze change. Michael says much the same about stories:

“We had a coach whose father was deaf and struggled to communicate to the world. Because of seeing how the world treated her father, she decided to go into counseling. Now she helps to bridge differences, and deals with people who might be marginalized and misunderstood. We were struck by her humanity. Her story has a little edge to it, a little pain, but I immediately felt; I can meet you there.”

Tapping this emotional power is one of the core skills of emotional intelligence. Learn more about Michael’s work to tap this power by joining VITALITY – The 4th Annual Virtual Emotional Intelligence Conference – and see his TEDx talk:

 

Rachel Goodman

Rachel Goodman

Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and communications professional, editor, producer, and writer for effective outcomes. Ms. Goodman has been a radio producer for much of her career, specializing in short features and documentaries. Some of her work includes Southern Songbirds: the Women of Early Country Music, Pastures of Plenty: A History of California's Farmworkers, and The Boomtown Chronicles: Reflections on a Changing California. Ms. Goodman teaches journalism at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County. Her goals are to facilitate positive change in the world through effective communication, and to continue conducting her work with the highest level of integrity possible.
Rachel Goodman