The power of story

Did you read my post yesterday about the flight attendant who created an improvised sympathy card for a woman whose grandson had been murdered in the Orlando shooting?

If you did, I bet you can still remember some details from the flight attendant’s story. And if you can’t remember specific details, I bet you can remember feelings you had. Maybe grief, empathy for the grandmother, pride at the actions of the flight attendants and the response of the passengers—maybe more.

Did the story change your mind about JetBlue as a company? It did mine. While I’ve never flown JetBlue, friends have told me about nightmare flights. And stories stick—the bad maybe even more than the good. But this story gave me the warm-fuzzies about JetBlue.

The company clearly has heart—the flight attendant wrote that corporate had offered to let crews add “JetBlue stands with Orlando” to the standard post-flight announcements. This crew saw the opportunity to move that sentiment from words into action.

Derek Sivers said a good story is worth more than dozens of pages of blather in an employee manual. Who reads those manuals? Maybe everybody—and who remembers dry rules and regulations? Probably nobody. But we all remember a story.

Next time you’re writing, will you remember that?

  • storytelling