Narrative Leadership

Narrative Leadership is about being aware of your own meaning and sense-making from a Narrative Perspective – and being able to communicate accordingly. Let’s take some time to explore this concept. And maybe we’ll meet in person in one of our courses or learnings.

Explore, reveal and attribute meaning to stories, through stories and by sharing (your) stories – that is what Narrative Perspective is all about. By distinguishing story from narrative we create space to have a look at (life)experiences and events on one hand – let’s call them stories – and to have a look at how we connect these stories on the other hand- let’s call this the narrative.

A rhizome is a stem that grows horizontally along under the ground – and produces different visible roots and leaves above the ground. Let’s say the visible roots and leaves are the story’s. The stem would be the narrative, invisibly connecting different story’s.

Narrative Perspective is about being curious about the answer to the question ‘How is something related or connected to something or someone else and what is the effect on meaning or sense-making?’ In other words: ‘What is the story, a personal experience or situation, on its own? How do you connect this story to other experiences or situations? What does this mean for you?’

By distinguishing story and narrative we can interpret situations in terms of connections and relationship. This interaction between story and narrative, what we call Narrative Perspective, reveals (or creates) meaning. So by looking at the singular story and by looking at, or finding out, the connections, it reveals the meaning you attribute to, for example, relations, situations or choices.

These connections are yóúr narratives which are based on your stories. We all have dominant narratives. We usually connect new stories to the narratives most know to us. Which makes them stay dominant. This makes it difficult te open up for an alternative outlook and other possibilities. And you are not the only one: other people, the organization you work in, your new in-laws: they all have got their own dominant narratives. And as long as we believe these narratives to be true, it will rather divide us than create a sense of connection and belonging. It will be difficult to explore common ground and work or live together effectively, let alone gently.

This is where The School of Narrative Leadership comes in. We offer courses and learnings to develop a sense of perception, explore narrative theory and structure, and an awareness for language and words to deconstruct your own narratives and have the ability to invite others to do so as well. And by doing so, space for alternative narratives will emerge. This may open up new possibilities.

The courses are set up in the atmosphere of a theatrical rehearsal space. This means that we start from the experiences that the participants bring into the workshop space. To become more perceptive – we need to be present and have sharp senses. It is about unlocking alternative ways,  exploring the different options and making those options perceptible, sensible (both sensitive and rational) and transferable to your (work) practice. Those are important pillars of every course.

The School of Narrative Leadership is the learning platform of Narrative Perspective.