Companies today are concerned about attracting and retaining individuals who are between 20-35 years old. By 2025, this age group will comprise 75% of the global workforce. When the global marketing firm McCann WorldGroup surveyed 7,000 Millennials in 2011, it found more than 90% of those surveyed rated “connection and community” as their greatest need. Community is that important! As the researchers put it, “to truly grasp the power of connection for this generation, we can look at how they wish to be remembered. It is not for their beauty, their power, or their influence, but simply for the quality of their human relationships and their ability to look after those around them.”
We can see from this research that what the world needs more of is us. People don’t need a new break room, or more money, or more perks to make them happier – people need you and your relationship. They need your story, because your story matters. Telling it allows you to reach out and begin new relationships. Your story matters, because that’s what gets you in the door.
In order to help you build better relationships, I have compiled a list of five thoughts to help you share your story in better ways than you ever have before:
1. Realize that everyone has a story.
When you fully see this, you can get over the low points that you have experienced along the way. Pull from the best and the worst moments of your life and let people in. Sharing pulls people in and allows for them to share with you. Many times we will only focus on the negative areas of our story, but what about the amazing parts? What good and bad life-altering events have taken place in your past? Every great story has conflict, but it also includes a climax and resolution. Every part of your story matters. How have you healed along the way and how are you better now than you were before? These are all elements of your great story that you desperately need to share.
2. Realize that your story is far from over.
Your past is to learn from. Don’t let it hold you up. Every time someone allows their past to dictate their future, they hold back their story from impacting the world. Maybe you have a dark past, but your future is so much more important. The pages that have been written about your life are done, but you have the opportunity to write a more powerful story in the future. Everyone has something amazing to offer to those around them. You can begin writing your new chapter right now.
3. Your story matters because it helps you relate.
Last year I wrote an article for ChurchLeaders.com to help pastors and others learn how to tell their story in better ways. It doesn’t matter who or where we are talking about – all people crave community whether they realize it or not. And the easiest way to begin new relationships and grow a community is learning how to tell your story. Your story matters because it helps you to relate with all sorts of people. A lot of times people believe that what has happened in their own lives hasn’t taken place in any one else’s life, so they choose not to share. I really start to doubt that there aren’t similarities in all of us, and those similarities begin with the need for community. Learn how to tell your story and pull people closer to you.
4. You need to be honest and let others know what makes you who you are.
Every part of your story matters. Fear will tell you to hold back. Don’t do it. Honesty and vulnerability are keys to building trust in any relationship. The more you build relationships this way from the beginning, the more true community you will build over time. People want and need to know you, all of you.
5. Your story matters because it is your most powerful possession.
So many tangible things don’t remain important over time, but the power of your story remains constant your entire lifetime. The reason for this is that you will keep making decisions that will continually add to your story. From this point forward, decide to make decisions you want to add to the pages of your life’s story.
When you realize these five things and see how they can help you share your story more often, you are well on your way to creating more lasting relationships. When you see how much your story matters, the reason to share becomes much more clear. The reason you need to share your story is to build a bigger and better community.