E70. How to Influence through Story with Kendall Haven
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Francisco Mahfuz 0:00
Hi everyone, Francisco here. Just before we get started, I wanted to share something I'm really excited about. I recently launched the story powers bootcamp, a course that teaches you everything you need to know about how to find craft and tell stories that work. But it's not just an online course, because you get personalised feedback from me for all the practical activities in three hours of life coaching to work through any challenges, or focus on specific projects. So it's like if you bought a cookbook, but the chef came along with it. So go to story powers.com and click on Course, all the information you need will be there. So please check it out. And if you love the show, and would like to support us, you can go to buy me a coffee.com forward slash story powers. I drink about five coffees a day, so any support would be much appreciated. All right on with the show.
Welcome to the story powers podcast, the show about the power of stories that people tell them and why you should be doing it too. I'm your host, keynote speaker and storytelling coach Francisco mahfuz. My guest today is candle Haven candle is a senior research scientist turned award winning author, speaker, master storyteller and nationally recognised subject expert on the structure and use of story. He has authored 34 books and has performed for over 6 million people worldwide. He was the only storyteller to participate in the DARPA narrative networks project to research the neural and cognitive science of how stories exert influence and now he says agencies, organisations, companies and schools to master the use and power of stock. kendo is a man of contradictions. On the one hand, he's a trained scientist, all his work is backed up by hard evidence. And he has the year of important people like the US Defence Agency. On the other hand, half of the stories he tells are completely made up. Some of the most important ones are about why he hates Burger King, and how the true reason he got into storytelling in the first place was to impress a girl. Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Kendall Haven. Kendall, welcome to the show.
Kendall Haven 2:14
Well, thank you. And actually, when I'm on stage, performing, almost all of the stories that I tell are pure fiction. There are different kinds of truth that you can get at in a fictional story and and different ways that you can focus an audience's attention on concept and untruth in a fictional story than you can in a non fictional story. Most companies that I now consult within most agencies, in fact, overlook the power of fictional stories. If I start a story and say, Harvey Jones was the plant manager at our production facility in blah, blah, blah, everyone's thinking, okay, he's a real person. And I want to know, you know, who, when did he join the company? And how long has he been there? And where does he live and, but if I said, once there was a man, you assume that it's going to be fiction, and what you will focus on is not, instead of focusing on on the life of the characters, you'll focus on how to use the characters to focus on concept, and important concepts are often easier to get across in a fictional story than in a non fictional story.
Francisco Mahfuz 3:31
Alright, so this is really interesting. And I think what you just described is, if I understand this correctly, the reason why the reason why fables and fairy tales were written the way they were written, and the whole, you know, once upon a time in a land far away. My understanding is that the the writers didn't want to get themselves in trouble by talking about real kingdoms and real lands when the when the rulers of those kingdoms could have them literally killed. And that was one of the reasons why all fairy tales are sort of vague. I don't know if I've, I've completely invented this. This explanation. I don't think I have I think I've read this somewhere.
Kendall Haven 4:11
It varies some by country. Certainly the English, the the little children's. Those little Limerick, limericks and children's stories that are English and oriented were virtually all political commentary. It is less true in some other parts of the world. Southeast Asia and some of the African ones seen in many of the Native American folk tales, fairy tales, and myths arose to present as a way to present concept and make the concept understandable and and memorable to populations that weren't literate because they didn't have written Language and also then to make them serve as life guides for those populations. But yeah, in a lot of, especially Western Europe, countries, what you're saying is exactly true.
Francisco Mahfuz 5:13
I think this is this is fascinating because everything I've read and learn about storytelling the last few years, has been about real storytelling in over stories that actually happened. No, I, I don't know that there's many, many people that are sort of in in this world right now, you know, business storytelling in particular, that have any appreciation, or the recommend people using fiction, it tends to be the opposite tends to be that, you know, they, a lot of them really dislike fairy tales, or anything that sounds like a fairy tale, because they think either that is not appropriate for the business context, or the show automatically lose authority. But I think more importantly, that is this idea that it doesn't have the same weight of truth. You know, it's not, you're showing something that actually happened to a real person. In any event, if someone buys the concept as they would in a movie, that that will have less power, then then a real story is, do you think that that's not? That's just a misconception?
Kendall Haven 6:18
I think it's an oversimplification. I think there is a very strong and powerful role for both fictional stories, and I'd say business fictional stories, typically, are a humorous, be audience relevant, that is, say relevant for the audience. Mostly, when they think of fictional stories, they think of children's stories and say, Oh, that wouldn't be appropriate in a business setting. You're right. They're not. Those aren't the stories to bring in. But fictional stories designed to present a concept are more effective at presenting the concept and then back them up with real life examples that are true stories. And that combination is far more powerful and far more effective than either alone.
Francisco Mahfuz 7:06
Okay, that's the I was the first is the so this is episode 70 of this podcast. And I think you were the I mean, I've interviewed writers. So this is a slightly different thing, fiction writers. But as far as people that talk about storytelling in corporate contexts, I think you were the first person to actually advocate for for that, which is, which is interesting, because, you know, obviously, you have a lot of experience in evidence to back you up on pretty much everything you say. So it's curious why that's, that has fallen out of the, of the current, the mainstream ideas about storytelling, business storytelling. As an example,
Kendall Haven 7:45
let me give you a quick example. This came up yesterday with the context was around what kind of a project are we proposing, my partner and I would with, to, to accompany. I said, you know, there's a story about an architect, famous architect, and a friend called the architect and said, I just bought this new house, I want you to come over and help me, architect is envisioning, I get to remake the house, he just bought this house and, you know, and so it's a blank canvas. And, and before he really moves in and settled into it, oh, you know, I'll get to do some some some wondrous redesign and Zeke arrived at the house, he looked at the front end, kind of how he'd redo the entry and, and, and the landscaping around it, and to emphasise the aspects of the house and friend met him at the door. And I should imagine, so let's, let's go into the kitchen, and the architect on Oh, he wants you to start by I'll redo the kitchen he got in. And he saw all sorts of incredible possibilities for building up the flow and the effectiveness of the kitchen. And, and, and, you know, the friend who owned the house said don't run, okay, please walk into the bathroom. And I said, Well, all right. Well, we'll start with redesigning the whole master suite. And the bathroom, the master suite, the design, the flow of it, the grandeur of it. And the main room. How's it in the corner? See that tile? i It's loose, and I can't, every time I try to get up. I'm afraid I'm chipping the tiles next to it. Can you tell me how to get that tile up? So I can resubmit it without chipping the tiles around? Because I don't want to have to redo anything on the floor. They're connected. That's it. That's why you call me over? Yeah, that's what I need. So architecture, but I do know how to do that a chipped up the tile guy said, thank you that that was great. Now that's over. Let's talk about redoing the living room. And the idea was, the takeaway from that example is, you know, you want to you want to start with what's the loose tile that's bothering somebody. It's the loose tile first. And then and so it'd be so you get then a takeaway analogy. You can use that becomes very effective shorthand. Working with a new company working with a new client is saying, alright, what, what's the loose tile here that we got to fix first, before we go on with any of our grand schemes? That's fictional story, that's for sure. Storytelling, sir, we use. All right.
Francisco Mahfuz 10:20
Now that you mentioned architects, my wife is an architect, my father is an architect, a lot of my friends are architects. So I get a great kick out of finding architects stories that make architects look bad. And there's this one, which I believe is about liquor boozy was a super influential architect in in Europe in the 60s and 70s. I believe, in I know, my father really loves him. And he a lot of the houses he designed became icons and became people went to the houses to see the houses and but people are living in them. And but they weren't always structurally sound. So there's this this story about this woman and the house had a leak. And the leak, ironically, fell right over the visitors book that they had right at the at the edge of the house. And then she called the record, like her woozy and said, you know, this is what's happening in the visitors book, and it's all getting wet. And you know, this is this is not gonna work. And he said, Well, I suggest you move the visitors book them. And that is it, that was his contribution to fixing the problem of the house. Alright, so before we get into the meat of a lot of the stuff I want to talk to you, one thing that I think would be super useful to do is to just describe the the essence of the experiments that you're getting involved with, with that backs up the most of the science that you've you've experienced firsthand. Now I'm familiar with. I'm familiar with the pole Zack experiments, I believe that he was involved with, with narrative networks as well. But yours was the you were the storyteller testing a lot of this stuff, right?
Kendall Haven 12:03
Let me Mel that DARPA work in with some future, some work that I've been since then, at and what DARPA pose. Of course, starting back in the early 80s, when I became first jumped ship out of science research became a storyteller. And the question was, why do people listen to stories? Why do we bother to pay with our attention, to listen to stories? And why do we remember information better if it's bent to us in story form, rather than in some other? Some other narrative kind of structure? And by the way, the research does support that yet we do. And so we were doing a lot of experiments and really small little testing on, you know, what is it about story that really hooks people that makes us want to pay attention? Along Came this DARPA project, and it was how to stories exert influence, and they wanted to know, what is it about story? What is it about the the elements of story, so for that, most of those using EEG labs, so take an audience, big headset on them, 24 channels, eg tech, little probes, attach their scalp all over the place. And then I would get to design the story material that they would be exposed to, so I can isolate elements of story, take a story, and I'd have maybe 80 versions of it, where I'm taking certain aspects of character description or character motive, or the specific goal of a character different aspects of the story, the way that the that the struggles and, and the conflicts played out through the story. And give audience number one, a version of it, and then bring in audience number two, which is which was statistically similar to audience number one, and feed them a slightly different version of it. And we have the the tracks of exactly the way that their brains responded to the story. So we're looking at at naturally what part of what creates excitement, what creates suspense, what creates engagement, attention, empathy, identity of the character. So we're, we're looking at them over time in different audiences isolating exactly which of those story elements control how we respond to story that has since expanded into or morphed into looking at two questions. How does the human brain initially make sense out of incoming material, he always do and what controls it because what we first reach what we find is that what first reaches the conscious mind, and you think is exactly what you heard, or what you read is not what you heard or read. It is literally a self created, story based version of that story. material.
Francisco Mahfuz 15:00
I know you've been married for a long time, anyone that has been married for a long time knows that one person says that the other person hears necessarily the same thing. And
Kendall Haven 15:11
the person who is hearing it thinks, what, what reaches their conscious mind is exactly what the other person said. And it's not. And it has to do with this process of calling it the make sense mandate, there's a mandate within your brain to force information as it comes in to make sense to you. If it can't make sense to you, you give yourself permission to totally ignore it. And in making sense, what we were able to show is that you're forcing that material into story form. And so it can be a chicken or the egg thing is to whether brains were have always been hardwired and constructed as story creating entities, or whether overtime, because we use stories starting in about 150,000 years ago, as a primary vehicle for communicating values, experiences, concepts, whether we evolved into it either way, that's the way our brains are now. So we make sense of it by create by creating a self created, story based version of that source material, which makes sense to us. And that's the version that gets to our conscious mind. And that's the version from which we create meaning.
Francisco Mahfuz 16:29
Yes, yeah. So that I want to make sure we that point comes across as clearly as it can, because that was one of the first things as I started reading your book that has that has stayed with me, that particular part, perhaps more than any of the other stuff, and I'm referring to stories mark here, one of your two books, two books on the science of storytelling. And this idea that the what you call the neural story net, that turns everything, every bit of information we receive into a story before it gets to our conscious mind. So it doesn't matter if you you know, there is a story there. And I gave a talk just a few days ago, and I had just read that. And then the example I gave them is I say, if I say to you, I have not called my mother, in 10 years, your brain is now creating a story of why there is your brain, your brain is trying to figure out why does he not like his mother? Does his mother not like him? Does he still even have a mother? And the answer is none of those things actually that my, my I outsourced calling my parents are calling family to my wife, she's a lot better that she remembers. And there's a reason I haven't called my mother in 10 years, as to speak to my mother before someone thinks I'm the worst son in the world. And that's what is an example is your brain will pick a story in wars is once it's picked the story, it will straw, I will struggle to tell you sort of the true story or the right story. If it doesn't give you facts that don't match the story in your brain. There will be a resistance there. Even though I'm trying to tell you that what I'm telling you is true and what you believe is not?
Kendall Haven 18:13
Absolutely, what we find is that as you create this story, for example, take down I haven't called my mother in 10 years. And people are thinking, Well, why hasn't he called his mother? What's his relationship with his mother? What you're looking for? Are? What are the motives? And what you know, What's he trying to do by ignoring his mother you're looking for starts just you're trying to infer specific story elements or everybody's mind goal. Motive? Have they had a fight? Is there conflict? Is there a problem? Those core elements are the ones that define effective story structure. Once you create that story, what we find is that the human brain tends to interpret incoming information to support our existing attitudes, beliefs and values as they are existing sets of stories. And we resist mightily anyone trying to alter those stories, you can see little parts of the brain, you there's a little area over here on the right hand side near the front that that lights up that that is the effect is the resistance part of the brain that that tends to separate the cognitive brain from the core parts of belief attitude values, so that it was really discovered during a lot of the anti smoking research. People would be fed information on smoking about how bad it is, and then dangerous it is and all the terrible things done. And people would cognitively get that and cognitively agree with it. When would say yeah, let's talk about it. Yeah. Have a cigarette, because you can see this part of the this little resistance part laid up that protects the core values, beliefs and attitudes that I, you know, I'm addicted to smoking, I love smoking, I gotta I have to smoke. And so cognitively they could say, Yeah, I hear your story that smoking is bad smoking is bad, but mine is that I'm a smoker. And and your information doesn't affect my story. These stories are this very deep seated things in human brains, our brains, we are really homo narratives. We're story animals. And the thing about what I think is most amazing is what we're able to show is that that neural story net, that process of turning information into story form lies between your conscious mind and the outside world. And nothing is going to get into your conscious mind. Without going through that neural story. Net, it's part of that initial subconscious, automatic processing. That is to say, it's all going to get converted into story form. So why tell stories? And why think about information in story terms, because your audience whether they want to or not, is going to do it. Anyway.
Francisco Mahfuz 21:09
That's sort of what's stuck with me is this shift in perception between stories is something you tell her stories are something you do to everything your brain processes, that is every every bit of information, your brain processes will end up in the form of a story, whether you like it or not, and how a lot of people don't, don't see it that way or don't are not aware of it. And it just reminded me of David Foster Wallace's inauguration speech or commencement speech. I don't know if you're familiar with that. It's called This is water. So it's a it's a graduation speech. And he narration it's a graduation speech. And he just opens with this little anecdote. And he says, you know, there's this two young fish swimming along and they meet another fish and swimming the other way. And the other fish nods at them and says, morning, boys, how's the water, and the two young fish keeps swimming, and then eventually, one of them looks at the other and says, What the hell is water. And he makes fun of himself, like, you know, everywhere there's a speech, speech needs to start with a parable. But he talks about how real being aware of the things that matter and how a lot of people are just not aware. And then he keeps repeating this as water throughout the speech. And in it, you know, this idea that it will become a story no matter what,
Kendall Haven 22:27
that by the way, an example of a fictional story used to present a concept that then plays into real life examples later. Yes, but it's amazing that to think the reason to use stories consciously, the reason to think about how to present your material in story terms isn't about that you want to tell a story. Or even if you think you'd like telling stories, or even if you think you're going to tell a story, it's that your audience is going to automatically hear it in and cognitively interpret and understand it in story terms. If you think in story terms, you have a much better chance of controlling how your audience make sense of your material, and then create meaning from it, which is what you really want to control.
Francisco Mahfuz 23:09
Yeah, this is I love that concept where, which is essentially, they will hear a story. At the end, the end result is that in their brain, there will be a story. The question is, is it going to be your story or their story? Your research and book goes on to talk about how if you want it to be your story, there are certain steps along the way and certain elements that need to be respected. So it it arrives at the destination unchanged. And then just before we jump into the actual elements, once again, I don't not sure if I gas from the book, which was that when you started that, that those experiments? Did you have a completely different list of elements that ended up being altered along the way? Were they more or less the same elements? You had intuited through experimentation of telling stories, that that I'm not sure I got from the book,
Kendall Haven 24:02
actually, that that's something my wife brought up at one point. By the time I got to that project, now we're talking 2011 2012, I had been teaching workshops for gosh, 15 years on the structure and elements of story. And as I started those experiments, my wife said, Okay, what are you going to do? If you find that everything you've been saying for the last 15 years is wrong? You know, how would he go back and apologise to all those? And
Francisco Mahfuz 24:38
you wouldn't be the first though I don't think luckily,
Kendall Haven 24:41
what I found was that no the elements the elements didn't change. They became far more specific and have since then become far more specific and we understand what those elements each of those elements contribute in a much more profound and and articulate way. than I did before, and so that the weight of some of those elements have increased in the weights of some of them have decreased. That to say that the contribution they make to the controlling the story image and the meaning that get created in the audience's mind, they have changed, but not the elements themselves. motive, for example, motive. That is to say, motive is the information that explains why a character wants a certain goal, why they're after something, why they want to do something. This is where we get to the values, beliefs, attitudes, the problems that concerns, you know, there's deep seated issues, family loyalty, patriotism, pride, some of them are some motives are very noble, and some are very self serving, and you try to keep them hidden. But we find that those are how most audience members decide their attitude toward and then their relationship toward every character in the story, call motive matching.
Francisco Mahfuz 26:03
Let me let me just take a step back and just list the the elements just to make sure because because I do want to talk specifically about some characteristics of some of the of the elements. But just so just so we have it on, on, on the recording the elements if I receive if I get them, right, so there was a character, that character has traits, that character is one has a goal, they're trying to achieve something and there was a reason why they want to achieve that. And that's their motive. Stopping from getting to achieving that goal. There are problems and conflicts that will create risk and danger. And then the character has to struggle, past struggles and conflicts. And that story needs to be told with sufficient relevant detail. So it seems real and vivid to us. Those are the eight, right?
Kendall Haven 26:50
Those are the eight. If you go through them first, all stories are back there all effective stories are about characters, a person jumped off the cliff. Well, we don't care about the act. It's funny, in most Western cultures, action events are grossly overrated. events themselves are always boring. Children prove it every day by writing plot based stories. And the stories are all pretty boring and dull. Affected stories are all character based, we want to know not what happens to a character, but how the character reacts, when something happens, and why they react the way they do character based. And it's not just the main character, there are certain key character positions, it turns out that our brains are hardwired, to seek out and to assign to the various Story characters, main character, we always look for who's who's opposed to the main character, the antagonist position, and those are pretty well known. The other key questions are character positions. Who is the audience, your target audience going to identify with? Who are they going to care about most, when they look at this story? Who is it that they side with that they that they empathise with the most? That identity character, and then who has the power? Who has it really has the power to make the story come out the way they want it to? That often it's called the hero position, but the hero position assumes that it's going to come that the story is going to end the way that the main character in the audience wanted to many real life stories don't. And in fact, if you look at folktales, a lot of folktales folktales can be divided often into stories that end well. And they set up sort of their their examples, stories, role, model stories, how life should be, and stories that end terribly cautionary tales, where things all go wrong. And that in those tales, that climax character that that power position character act, so that the main character winds up not getting what they want, and is destroyed. But you can go either way. Let me
Francisco Mahfuz 28:55
pick up on one because this one is very important, perhaps the most important of all, but I don't think this is something that people naturally realise the identity character. So when you start talking about the identity characters and who the audience relates to, my first instinct was, well, perhaps because most of my stories are, you know, three minutes long in the character in the story is usually me as like, well, you know, the person, you know, I have to be relatable, I have to be the identity character, because otherwise the story doesn't work. If they don't identify with me in that example, the story simply won't work. Then I started thinking of longer form story storytelling, for example, movies, in it's pretty common in movies, where there is a sidekick or a friend. And that friend is the one that you actually care more about is the one that is a bit more like you than perhaps the hero of the story. And I realise Yeah, sure, if you identify with the strange, Goss, friend, and that one has a really bad ending in the movie, that it's going to put you off Whatever happens to the main character, but my my question to you is, in stories that are not long form that don't have lots of different characters, is the main character not being the identity character, just bad storytelling?
Kendall Haven 30:15
No, we'll give you an example, a couple of corporate examples. So many times Corporation is going to change some policy says some new programme comes in, maybe it's a benefit programme, maybe it's a procedure programme. And so they, they want to tell the story to all of the frontline workers in the company hears the change. And so often, they'll say, you know, we, the company, or me the CEO, I am telling the story, this is what I want to do. And this is, and so that we're, we have this new, new procedure, and it's going to be better for everyone. And frontline workers often will flip the story and, and walk away thinking, if it's good for him, it's terrible for me, you know, we get shafted again, and hear exactly the opposite of what the CEO wanted them to hear. What happens is, in that kind of a case, if the company is telling a story, where they're, they're putting themselves in the position of the main character in the story, I'm telling the story about me and the new product, the new a new benefit package, or a new process, a new organisation, major structural organisation, that we're doing it inside the company. And this is why we're doing it. And this is how it benefits us. But if they tell it from their own point of view, often those frontline workers don't identify what identify with that main character. So what happens is typically, then they'll identify with someone in with themselves or a character that shows up the story, as it's more like them. And what happens is, then they'll flip the story, so that that main character, instead of being the main character, in in the minds of the frontline workers will become the antagonist. The problem, the bad guy,
Francisco Mahfuz 32:04
this is what my question was about. To me. I mean, perhaps I'm simplifying things. But to me, that would be bad storytelling. You know, if you if you are telling this for the citizen theory, you're trying to get the buy in of your workers, then surely the worker, the story has to revolve around either a worker or someone who's relatable to the workers, the CEO cannot be the the lead in that story, because it won't be relatable.
Kendall Haven 32:29
And yet, time after time, this the CEO, the department manager, the head of HR, whoever it is, will tell the story. From their own point of view, it also happens to elected officials all the time, they'll tell the story from about them, and about what they're doing and about their efforts. Rather than think about who's my target audience, and how am I going to get them to relate positively to this story, and to the characters that I put in the story. So what it means is, what the science of story lets us do is give us tools to let us engineer the stories, every aspect of story, who the story is going to be about how you present that character, what you tell about the character, what their how you word, their goals and motives. All of those elements are variables that are at your beck and call at your individual control, a story just isn't a thing that happens. It's like a brick wall. It's not just a solid mass, it's a pile of individual bricks that you get to form any way you want to create the wall that makes sense to you that you did tells the story you want to tell. And so effective storytelling is learning what are those elements, those individual elements? And how do I want to structure them so that the audience I want to tell the story to will receive the audience or receive the story the way I want them to and get out of the story? What I want them to get out of it is a lot of it. It's like reverse engineering, you start with what's the effect I want to have on my audience, what I what do I want them to do? And what beliefs or attitudes do I want to change in them in order to get them to behave the way I want them to? And then what story has to enter their conscious mind in order for that change in belief or attitude or values to take place? And then all right, well, how do I form a story so that it'll get through their neural story net and all that initial processing, and get to their conscious mind the way the way that it has to get to so that they'll get into the effect I want will happen. So you start with the effect and backup to the story that you have to provide Intel and there is no one guaranteed way to always structure a story. It depends on the effect you want to have and how you want your audience to feel at the end of the story. How do you want them to be motivated to act to think differently than they did before,
Francisco Mahfuz 35:02
one of the things I thought was very interesting in the way you describe one particular element, which is motive, which, you know, time and time again, you talked about how this is one of the most influential ones, or one of the most important ones for influence, and people overlook it. But you actually describe what's a good motive and what's a bad motive? So what what is a bad example of a motive in a story?
Kendall Haven 35:24
Well, look at it is we use motives, we the audience, use stated, or implied motives, and always, always Picture yourself walking down the hallway, and someone else passes you and says, I mean, then you're an office setting pictures up here in the corporate setting, and, and someone pass you and says, Oh, you know, that two o'clock meeting this afternoon, you don't have to attend? And the first thought is why they say that? Why don't they want me to attend? But should I be worried about this? Is this good? Is that good news? Is that bad news? What you're looking for is what's their motive? Those are all motive questions, all the why questions are motive questions. We always, always in every situation is seeking out why they do what they did. Why did someone else do what they did, but so often, we don't state what our motives are. So we're used to try to imply motives from the actions of a character. So in a story, we use the stated or implied motives to determine how we feel about the various characters in the story. Effective motives are those that lead the audience to look at the story characters you present, be they real characters, be they fictional characters, the way you want them to look at those characters. Ineffective motives, or bad motives are those that tend to drive the audience to look at the characters in a way that is contrary to the way you want them to look at the characters. It's amazing how easy I can take a 10 minute story, I did this all the time in the lab, and change one sentence in that story that reverses the motive of a character. And it completely changes the way the audience expects the story to end and wants the story to end and the way that they feel at the end of the story, thereby completely changing the meaning they get from the story and the effect the story has on them just by changing motive. It's an amazingly powerful tool. And what you have to know is that whether you say anything about motives, or not every audience member at a subconscious automatic level will be seeking and inferring motive to your characters. Most people do when they have the chance to infer motives, infer negative motives, self serving motives, those that that even cruel, condescending motives to people. And so they tend to flip and turn against those characters. The only way around that is to be very clear on what the motives are on the the characters real or fictional characters you present. Why are they doing what they're doing, why they're saying what they're saying, and make sure that that comes across to your audience. Otherwise, the motives they infer will often be radically different than the motive you intended, or that in fact, are the real motives of the character.
Francisco Mahfuz 38:16
Just yesterday, I was talking to someone about that. And the example I used was, take a story about a father trying very hard to make his son a great swimmer. And you can have the exact same story. And if had to be at some point that the story you say something like, losing one child to drowning, was you know, that's, that can never happen again. That's one story. But if the line is I was champion swimmer, no son of mine can look bad in the water, then all of a sudden, it's a completely different story.
Kendall Haven 38:48
Legit that just a flip of motive. Yeah.
Francisco Mahfuz 38:51
And you talked about as well, that the I was trying to get that the the idea of how specific the motive needs to be. I think you said something like happiness is as a goal or as a motive. It's a bad one. I don't want you know, that type of loose thing.
Kendall Haven 39:06
We often think different can goal and motive. The goal is what someone's trying what someone wants, needs or wants to do are getting the story. goals need to be very tangible and specific happiness, for example, is a terrible goal. Partly because no one knows what that looks like. We can't tell if a character is happy or not happy. So we don't know if they got there. They didn't get there. Peace on Earth is a terrible goal. And now we say why we do it. It's a good goal. It's terrible, because we're not quite sure what it looks like. Yes. goals need to be tangible. They need to be something that we can all visualise. So that we can always measure moment to moment in the story. Is the character getting closer to the goal? Are they getting to the goal? That's not true motive is where values beliefs, attitudes have come in. But what makes a motive effective is if the audience will be able to instantly when they perceive that moment. Be able to visualise how it, how it drives the character and how it compares to their own motives. And that's where ones like happiness are very vague. Yeah, I want to be happy, as opposed to family loyalty, putting family above blood before anything else, the kind of motives that really drive people. I've lost one son to one son to drowning, and I, and I can't, I couldn't bear losing another one. As opposed to, I want this kid to look good to make me look good. Yeah. So that's a different, different motive. But we affective motives are ones that we the audience can visualise and and feel the effect of that motive, and then relate it to our own motives that give us that same drive that same sense of purpose. And that's when we start to identify with the character or turn against the character. So those motives are always there. Corporate stories are notorious for skipping over motives. And just going straight to the solution, the you know, the the goal and the goal of the solution. Here's the problem, here's the here's what we're going to do. And skipping over the motive part may get the motive is what really hooks the gives the people in the audience in your target audience, a reason to get behind that programme that change that whatever it is you're trying to get across.
Francisco Mahfuz 41:34
One example that just occurred to me about the power of motive to change your perception of a story or character character is Breaking Bad, which and if you haven't watched it, I'm going to spoil it for you and anyone else. But you know, it's been it's been around for a while, is that Breaking Bad. In the beginning, it looks very clearly that the main character who's a chemist and has cancer is going to die, he needs to leave enough money for his family, and he gets into the drug business. Because of that, that seems his motive. But the more the story progresses, the clearer it becomes that what he's really looking for is to feel powerful. And then he starts taking actions that clearly say, I'm not doing this for the good of my family. The reason the real reason I'm doing this is because I want to feel that I'm superior to other people that I feel that I am as good as I always thought I was compared to the people around me. And by the end of it if you if you're paying attention, by the end of it, he's clearly the villain of the story. Everything that happens that that happens, that the bad things that happens to most of the people he love, loves happened because of him. That didn't happen for anyone else. Yeah,
Kendall Haven 42:39
it's a real clever twist on motive. Where, and this is something you can't do in a short story and three minutes, three or four minutes or, but you can do it in a movie, you can do it in a novel, where you present a character, and then by either revealing motive over time, or shifting motives over time, you completely change the audience's take on that character. And flip him from being a good guy to a villain from being you know, someone that identify with someone that that I despise. Yeah. And and that's all, what does that is all motive.
Francisco Mahfuz 43:16
Choose things that have right, you're talking about when it comes to details that I don't think I've come across before. So the first one is this idea of the relevant details and what they can do to a story. And and both. Let's tackle that first. And I, as you talked about it, I had this idea, which I have to explain. So it's not a particularly great analogy is the Chekhov's gun of irrelevant irrelevant details. Now, for anyone who doesn't get that reference. Anton Chekhov, who was a writer, he had this idea that if, if there is a gun, in the scene in a book or in a theatre, and play in the first act by the third act that again needs to be fired. Otherwise, you're just confusing the audience. And why is that again, there, again, serves no purpose Anubis directing the audience. So you talked about how you have to be very careful when you choose your details, because the details might lead the audience in one direction. And you might not want to miss direct them. If you're gonna miss direct them, that's fine. But if you don't, you're just creating cognitive load and sending them all sorts of weird directions. That's the gist of it. Right?
Kendall Haven 44:24
Yeah. It's part of the way we've been trained to listen to stories, we assume that there's information in the story, it is relevant, and sort of an assumption you make. You go through life. And you see all people walk down the street, and they may be you know, talking on a cell phone or they may be walking down the street, tapping on a laptop or an iPad, and you see it but you don't require that you don't. Your mind doesn't assume that that's relevant to you. So you just let it go. Let it go. But when you get into a story, you assume The information in the story is relevant. And when we talk about details, details of this odd thing, they are both good and bad. What are detail detail, think of the way you get information about the world, you get information through your five senses. That's the way information comes into you about the world. What are Details, details are the information that your senses would give you, if you are really there collecting information on your own. So we talk about details what we really mean or send bits of sensory related information when something looks like sounds like what it feels like smells like, that's detail. In order for your mind. If you're in the audience, to be able to visualise And picture this story, if you can't do that you won't become involved in the story, it won't have any impact on you, you need the details, you need a sufficient number of details to be able to visualise the story. However, every time you put in a detail, you slow the pace of the story a little bit, they don't come for free, you pay a price for the details. If you leave out the details, you pay a huge price. If you put in too many details, you bogged down the story, the all the tension and the excitement, go out of the story, and you lose the audience. So it's you're always looking for what is that sweet spot with just enough detail so that they can visualise the story. But not too much detail that I bog it down, which means that each of those details that you do include about what characters look like sound like smell like what the scenes are, like, what the settings are like, what you know, the little detail, is there a gun or isn't there a gun? Those details are the ones that you include will be the ones that the audience uses to build up a picture of what this whole place looks like what they would see and hear if they were standing there in the middle of that scene.
Francisco Mahfuz 46:59
Yeah, I tend to think of it as the challenge of the storyteller at times is, what is the biggest bang for your buck you can get from from one detail. So you know, for example, um, I grew up in the 80s. So, you know, if I want to tell someone about the time I grew up, and what exactly the time was, I could say something like, you know, I'm from the time that when the Top of the Pops came on the radio, I would stand next to my to my stereo with one finger on the play one finger in the record, waiting for the one song I wanted to finish my mixtape. If I say that, I mean, a lot of people get like Femi will have no idea what I'm talking about. And some people will be taken back to their childhood, and now their brain is full of images. And probably that's all I need to say about you know, that I grew up in the 80s, I don't need to talk about people's hair, and then to talk about the type of music that we were listening to. And, and they will get it. But at the same time I one of the types of stories that annoys me the most is the one where people feel that they have to give five different descriptions in the space of a few sentences. So you can see and hear everything that's on the scene, instead of getting a taste for what's on the scene. Right?
Kendall Haven 48:13
One of the powers of story is that it is really co creative. The person telling the story provides a couple of those key relevant details. And then what the audience member does is take those and and literally create comparable levels of detail to fill in the scene around it, then two things happen. One is they get this vivid more details in picture in their head, which is perfect for them because they, to a large extent created it. But they give all the credit for it back to the story back to the original source story. If you the teller forced them to take all of the detail. But in too much detail, you start to what happens is that there's a cognitive conflict that happens between the scene the way they want to create it, and the scene the way you're forcing them to create it. And so that they tend then to back away from the scene and back away from the story and stop their emotional involvement with the story.
Francisco Mahfuz 49:13
Which happened to which happened to everybody that's ever watched the movie after reading the book. That's not the scene in my head. That's not what this character is look like. It
Kendall Haven 49:23
happens all the time. And but the next step in that is because the movie overload you with visual detail. I mean, that's what you get from a movie, right? It's constant visual detail. Afterwards, if you read the book, and then watch the movie, and then quiz people, their images of the story tend to be based more on the movie than on the book, because that's what flooded them with excess detail. Being in far more detail. You can't put that much detail in a book. It's amazing how restricted you are and even in a novel way how much detail you can really include. So you're really counting on the audience to do to supplant, fill in all the scenes around the details that you do provide? Well, in a movie, you have to provide all of that that scenic detail.
Francisco Mahfuz 50:13
I guess the the question, the instinctively my, my feeling, perhaps because I'm a reader is that I, because I have to work to create the scenes in my head, I ended up significantly more engaged when I'm reading a book after a certain point. And I noticed there's a lot because I tend to read, I like fantasy and science fiction. And I always noticed that there was a point in the in the book where I now understand the world enough that I'm not trying so hard to imagine it. In the end, I just get lost in the story. And then the book will you know, books two, or three, or whatever many books that are go five times faster than Book One, when's the danger there
Kendall Haven 50:53
for the writer is, however, is that all in book one, all during Book, one, you are discovering you, the reader are discovering this new land. And that act of discovery is very exciting. And you're filling it in. And so it's a very active process. Once you've got it all filled in, you go into book two and three, the right the challenge to the writer is to come up with something new for you to discover, because you've already got the world in your mind. And so that much of the what makes the writing of book one, so appealing his last resort, because it's already been done. So detail on the list of elements. I always list detail last, not because it's the least important. But because I look at details and editing process, create the story, figure out what you're going to say what you want that what what you want your audience to get. And then at the end, say, all right, which are the moments in this story that are most important for them to really vividly see. And that's when you go back and say, well, that's where I need to put in the detail, you only get so much detail in the story, you're always trying to use, they get the most bang for your buck. So you're trying to be very judicious and putting in the detail. And yet you have to be generous enough in the detail so that they can always visualise the story. And it becomes an editing process, something to think about after you've created the story, not while you're creating a great story first, and then figure out how to use detail to drive the images of it into the audience's mind.
Francisco Mahfuz 52:29
The last technical point I wanted to ask you before I just ask you a couple of broader questions is about the residual resolution emotion. So which is which is, again, a lot of the things my impression I got perhaps because I've read so many books on storytelling, a lot of these people have been influenced by you. But the impression I got is I know this, I just never called it this way. And I've never seen it described in as much detail. But to anyone who doesn't automatically get what that means what is residual resolution emotion? Well, what
Kendall Haven 53:00
it is, is the feeling that the audience is left with immediately after the story is finished. Why do you care, if you're just trying to entertain, you don't care as much. I mean, you do care, you don't want people to walk out and finish the story and walk out so depressed, that they they want to go shoot themselves in the head. But if you're trying to persuade, to influence to affect the audience in any way, that residual resolution, emotion becomes critical. It is the driving force that will make someone actually act in the way that they feel, at the very end, as the story ends, determined how impactful that story will be, and how likely it is to affect their beliefs, attitudes, values, their future behaviour. And the elements that create it. Our surprise, is the how surprising is the ending is is how different is this ending? From the ending? I expected satisfaction? How different is this ending from the for the ending I want or think is most just the greater those two differences are, the greater, the more powerful that emotion is. And the more that story becomes a driver of behaviour change.
Francisco Mahfuz 54:26
One thing just I want to make sure that that we get to that and take your time circling around if you need to. But But the difference between the types of change and the types of influence that can be achieved by a positive residual resolution emotion in the negative and because that will that again, it's one of those things that the negative one I could kind of take a stab at if you had asked me before I read the book, but what the positive one does that that to me was was was very surprising and insightful. So If at the end of a story, if it's a story that ends, it doesn't end badly, necessarily, but you feel negative emotion towards it injustice unfairness, then those can be used or can trigger what types of action in your experience,
Kendall Haven 55:16
negative endings, and negative emotional endings? Yes, I, the story's over and I'm angry, I'm outraged. I said, No, that's not right. And they tend to drive immediate behavioural action, you want to do something you want to have people write letters to, to a congressman, you want to have them get out on the street and join a march, you want to start a riot have a story and negatively. And in fact, we did for the Department of US Department of Defence we're doing I did some research looking at stories that have been particularly affected by al Qaeda, by ISIS by the Taliban, and those that have been particularly effective at recruiting or at fundraising, are all ones that have ended negatively for their target audience, which were young Arab males in the 18 to 35 year old age range, have a story end negatively. That way, it makes people want to do something to fix the story. But it doesn't take 10 to change long term attitudes, beliefs, values, you do something, you take an action, and then having taken the action, you feel satisfied, and go back to the thinking and feeling exactly the way you did before. And in fact, the gold standard for influence stories in in research labs in the US, particularly colleges and universities that do these sorts of experiments all the time, have been stories that and negatively so that people would be more willing to immediately donate money to a cause. Stories that end well tend not to get very much donation. And so they so that the thought has been well, if you really want to action, you got to you have to have a story and negatively. That's true short term. But long term negative endings tend not to have long term effects on behaviour on attitude on belief on values, but positive ending stories. And if you look at most religious, most religions, and the stories that they share, most of them do and positively. And what they does tend to do is not cause immediate behavioural shift, but do tend to be long term role model stories. So they tend to get held in memory. And overtime as situations arise. Where that story applies to a situation where the person now finds themselves, those stories tend to pop up and affect long term behaviour. So long term behavioural shifts represent featured or caused by long term shifts in attitudes, beliefs, values, tend to be more driven by positive ending stories, which means that neither of those is is illegitimate. They're both very powerful and effective tools. The question is, what do you want your target audience to do? Do you want to cause a long term behavioural shift? Do you want to have an immediate, immediate action response? So that you design the story that you want and the ending that you want, and the emotion that you want people to feel at the end of that story, to achieve the effect that you originally designed, and said that you want to create? Again, it's all about using the tools to achieve what you want to achieve.
Francisco Mahfuz 58:44
On the final question on the elements is, were you able to tell from your experiments if in order to benefit from from the power of story and from getting our message across the right way? Do you need to use a story or the elements by themselves as long as they can be understood as what they are? By the by the audience would achieve the same? The same result?
Kendall Haven 59:08
And the answer is in the mind of the receiver is going to be formed into story. So if you put it in story form, and makes it easier for them, to put your story in your terms, in their minds, but what's critical are the element given the so if you're doing a talk, if you're doing a lecture, if you're doing a podcast, if you're doing a blog, you don't have to say here's a story, and then do a story. But be aware of the elements. Be aware of how you're inserting them into this thing you're creating. And try to be very aware. Try to put yourself in the mind of your target audience is they how are they going to infer information out of this? That's going to create a story in their minds what story is going to happen in their minds? So think in terms of the story elements, knowing that ultimately, then the only place you care about and that's what happens in the in the conscious mind and memory of your target audience. That's going to be a story. You don't have to put it in story forms, but you have to be aware of what are the elements that your target audience is going to use to create stories that they create. And they don't necessarily do it automatically. They may not think, Oh, I'm going to turn this into a story. It happens at a subconscious level. But it always happens.
Francisco Mahfuz 1:00:29
One thing that I wonder now when I talk to people about storytelling is that maybe I'm being optimistic but hasn't the battle to convince people that stories are not something we think work but something that actually work? In that we have the science for it? Hasn't that battle to stir great extent has been won in and what I'm trying to ask you is, have we not is anything in the mainstream already that is that it stories are scientifically backed to work. So now we can actually stop talking about the science. And
Kendall Haven 1:01:01
I would say its story is this it is a nom de jure, it is the it is the buzzword for the for the deck maybe for a couple of years. The risk is when you do that, that people say Good, I'll tell a story. And that'll take care of everything. And they tell a story, an ineffective story, a story that was poorly crafted and poorly designed, and then say ha stories didn't work. And like so many other fads story, in the mind of many people will fade. My concern is that the science of story isn't getting out nearly as broadly, both the science itself and the idea that there is a real science behind it isn't getting out nearly as quickly and nearly as broadly as it needs to, to keep pace with the fast version of story and storytelling. Everyone says just tell your stories. And that'll that'll work. Well, really, what you should be saying is just tell effective stories designed specifically to achieve the effect you want to create. And that'll take care of it. And that's right. But there's a big difference between do just tell your story and just tell an effective story that'll achieve the effect that you want to create. Those two are unfortunately very different. And there are far too many people that aren't relating to the elements that control the process of going from Oh, just tell your story to tell an effective story.
Francisco Mahfuz 1:02:29
Okay, I was just gonna end or move us toward the end by going back to your beginning, in that, you know, we as we discussed, you had been teaching this for a long time. My understanding from your story is that you you originally learned story in a fairly instinctive way. This is not this wasn't your science, this is not the research to learn to do. And instinctively, you arrived that the elements that the science later validated. So you got to them without having to raise a hypothesis and then to the scientific process. So what I'm wondering now, that goes on to rather question about how to teach story is when you do a workshop now, or give training? Does it look terribly different than it used to do before all the science prove that you were right? Yes. And the
Kendall Haven 1:03:23
difference is, and let me use it a little analogy that one of my favourite storytellers is a guy named Jay O. Callaghan. He was one of the people who got into storytelling about five or six years before I did. And so when I was a brand new storyteller, he was of all the American storyteller certainly was the one who told stories why I wanted to tell stories. So when, you know, I hung out with him when I could not. And I took a couple of workshops from him. And he is really a master storyteller. And his one of his lines was always there's a rhythm to the story, and you just listen to the rhythm, and it tells you how to pace the story. And people would say, What, but how do you how do you do that? You just listen to the rhythm of the story. And they tell you look like but you know, I don't how do I do that? He said he just listen to the rhythm. So when I first started doing workshops, in a similar way, I would say this is what this is the here's the story, this and this and it works. Trust me, it works. Now what I can do is lead them to those elements. Not say, going back to the brick wall analogy. Now I can really show them rather than say, Hey, here's what the wall looks like, go build your own. I can say okay, here are all the tools here are all the elements you have. And let's look at each of those elements and talk very, very specifically with a certainty that that I know what I'm talking about when I talk about eating Those little elements. And then once we've talked about the individual elements, and now, let's start seeing what it looks like when you build them together. What are your options? What does it look like when you pair them together? How do they? How do they interact with each other? How do they interact with the brain of the audience? So it's now I'm in a position to be able to not only say, Well, this works, but show them first, exactly why and how it works. And second, with whatever knowledge base in whatever attitudes, whatever skills, natural tendencies they have coming into the product into that, that workshop, I can show them how to go from where they are, to becoming real masters of each of those elements, so that they are fully in control of both crafting and then delivering the stories that they want to deliver, to achieve the effects that they want to achieve.
Francisco Mahfuz 1:05:54
Yeah, the challenge. And the concern, for me is always how much information is enough? And how much is too much. Because most of the people that I work with, they're they're telling real stories, they're using them usually more like a business more business context than a performative one. So there is there is this thing, you know, like, Jay, to some extent, I'm, I'm a natural in, then I have to deconstruct what I'm doing and was like, Oh, why did that work? Because I did. But I'm not i Even though I have specific structures that I teach. And I have elements that I teach as important ones. I don't know how the story comes to be in my mind, you know, I might say to people, you know, story needs a relatable character, who has a problem that they care about. And it needs to be told with specific detail and a moment in time. But I'm not thinking that way. When I put the story together, the story exists, something happened. And then I started saying, Okay, well, this and that, and then I use them as diagnostics tools. Right. But I don't I don't always find that. For people, if you say this is this is a structure you can use, these are the elements that ideally need to be there, a lot of people just look at that in freeze. So to me is always finding that balance between, tell me what happened. And then now let's craft it to, let's craft it in a way that actually makes a good story before you have developed it to certain extent, right.
Kendall Haven 1:07:17
And so that there is always that that dynamic tension between, oh, I need to tell a story next week. And so I just want to work on this story, too, I want to understand how all the stories work. This is learning that happens experientially, and what I find I'm better at now than I used to be is guiding people to experience those different elements. And the effect of those elements that say what they can do, when they suddenly think about within the context of their own stories, think about one element or another element, rather than being something that's learned academically, story and storytelling to learn experientially. And so as my job is to guide them to experience both effective and effective stories, and the effect of each of those, each of these various different elements on story on what, how that how that helps them do what they wanted to do. Often people see a story in their head, and it's in the story they see in their head is a great story. And the question is, well, how do you get it out of your head into someone else's head and make it that same kind of a great story, effective story. And one of the greatest things for a human being to learn as a storyteller is to stop thinking like you and get out of your head and be the audience and look at your your your story, your material purely from the viewpoint of your audience, which means you have to understand who that audience is, who's my target audience? Who do I want to Who do I want to get this to? How are they going to look at this story? And look at the story from, from their point of view, with their concerns and their issues and their interest level? And knowing then what's going to engage them but what you know, what's going to hook them? What's going to be relevant to them, how do I get them to see this story? And that's something that has to be learned a little bit to get out of your own head because you say, you start a story, you think, Well, I can see the story in my head. And so that's the way we'll put it together. Well, people who are just natural natural storytellers, naturally effective storytellers. And I was lucky enough to naturally fall into that when I started telling do pretty well on their own, but most people are not there. Most people aren't natural at being able to effectively take a story out of their own minds, translated into language and facial expression, gestures, and give it to another person so that when that other person puts it back together in their minds, they see the same story that they that the teller had in their minds, and those are the people who can be who can benefit a lot from understanding in a In a more conscious way, what are the tools I have? What are the elements that I have to work with? And how does it How does it feel when I eat, try to use those? And that's what workshops and storytelling classes really can do.
Francisco Mahfuz 1:10:14
Yeah, yeah, I think it's, it's, it's one of those ongoing challenges that will remain an ongoing challenge. Because, you know, I think that if everybody had a tense of the passion and the time that in that anyone gave it that it gets into storytelling dedicates to it, everything would be easier. But we are talking about busy people sometimes see this as a tool, or a means to an end, and expecting them to dedicate themselves so much to it, other than the occasional workshop, or the book that they read, is sometimes too much. I don't believe you will actually arrive at any perfect formula for teaching this stuff. But I think, you know, what I what I'm hoping is that eventually, I find the perfect formula for me, for my art for the specific audience that I'm trying to serve.
Kendall Haven 1:11:04
But of course, the trouble is, every audience is a little different. And what's perfect for that audience is different than what's perfect for another audience. And as a teacher, he still, every time I faced a new group, or a new individual, if I'm doing what I am one on one work, it's not a question of, you know, what's perfect for me to teach. It's where are they? And what's the net? What's the best thing for them to do right now to be nudged in a constructive direction. So you're always doing little nudges from, you know, from where people are in the direction that you know, that they need to go. And you're right. It's always a challenge. That's, that is the that's what makes teachers really artists, it is an art form to be able to figure out where is where is this? Where is this other human being? And how do I get them in an experiential way to get to wherever I know that they need to go.
Francisco Mahfuz 1:11:59
And it's a challenge, but it's also part of the fun of it. I think, if you, if you completely cracked it, it will feel robotic after a while doing the exact same thing, group after group, person after person, year after year. So the fact that it changes and evolves and you change and evolve, sometimes within the same group, that group are fantastic part of it, Kendall, you are the repository of all scientific storytelling knowledge I think I could give you, I could give you around for a lot longer. But I want to be mindful of your time. And one more time. Thank you again, for waking up so early to do this. I when I did this, this podcast with people that are in the US and I'm in I'm in Europe, and I know it's it's sometimes gruesome for them to have to wake up early. But I think you're up at six in the morning for this right?
Kendall Haven 1:12:49
Well, actually, I'm a morning person. So I'm usually up by 430 or so.
Francisco Mahfuz 1:12:54
Oh, you are you're one of one of those people? Well, I have I have a toddler. So unfortunately, I've been made into a morning person. Okay, well, can we if anyone wants to find out more about your work? So obviously, they can go up to any place where books are sold and look for story proof, or stories, Mart those I think the main ones for the scientific side of it. Where else should they look for for your work?
Kendall Haven 1:13:20
Website is the that just Kendall Haven calm. And other than that I am mostly working with corporations and government agencies in and out on on tour doing the consulting work.
Francisco Mahfuz 1:13:37
Perfect. Well, thank you again for your time. It's been an absolute pleasure.
Kendall Haven 1:13:41
It is my pleasure, also, and thank you for having me on.
Francisco Mahfuz 1:13:44
Alright, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Take care of yourselves. And until next time.
I hope you enjoy the show. And if you did, I'd love for you to subscribe and leave us a review or a rating on the Apple podcasts app. It's very easy. You open the app and find the show and scroll down a little and when you see the stars tab. I'd really appreciate it and it does help other people find us. And if you'd like to get in touch or find out more about what I do, reach out to me on LinkedIn or visit my website story powers.com