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5 Kinds of Stories That Create Our Reality


The stories we tell ourselves can either create struggle and pain or happiness and fulfillment. Emotionally intelligent leaders are able to tell themselves positive stories that create untold possibility.

Enlightened leaders are able to help their organizations shift its culture from good to great. They guide their people in retelling the history and growth of the organization that fully engages people to create a prosperous future.

5 Kinds of Stories

We tell stories related to five basic subjects:

1. Work

2. Family

3. Health

4. Happiness

5. Friendships

While there are myriad variations, these themes form the basis for everyday complaining or bragging—two facets of storytelling.

Do a reality check to see if your stories excuse your actions or inspire new behaviors. How do you feel about your results? Are you happy with the way you conduct yourself? Answering these questions allows you to uncover how your internal stories influence your behavior.

3 Steps to Rewrite Your Story

1. Make a list of your current stories. Identify the areas where your stories are clearly hurting you.

2. Articulate, as clearly as possible, a story that isn’t working for you. Are you, for example, rationalizing a behavior or scapegoating a colleague? Are you bitter or boastful? Your story should be as authentic as possible.

3. To rewrite your story, first identify its faulty elements. Ask yourself these three questions:

a. Does the story reflect the truth?

b. Will it take me where I want to go in life (while allowing me to remain true to my core values)?

c. Does it stimulate me to take action?

Constructive stories contains three key components:

  • Purpose
  • Truth
  • Hope-filled action

If your story lacks one or more of these elements, it remains flawed and unworkable. Only a purposeful, truthful and hope-driven story will inspire you to unleash your intrinsic energy and achieve what you want from life.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop executive presence? Leaders with highly developed executive presence tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How can I transform an unhealthy story to ahope-driven story that inspire me to unleash my energy and achieve what I want from life?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who value work/life balance.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are fully engaged and work/life balance is an important value. You can become a leader with executive presence who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders. Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to, write to, or call 415-546-1252.

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