The Centrality of Story; no, Make that the Centrality of “Storytelling” – Insight from Geoff Colvin, Humans are Underrated


This is from Geoff Colvin, Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know that Brilliant Machines Never Will. Call it the Humans Are Underratedcentrality of story — no, make that the centrality of “storytelling.” 

From the book:

“We discovered that it wasn’t story that was having the impact but storytelling.”

It’s authenticity. Who is telling the story? We humans aren’t moved by a story unless we can evaluate the teller, decide whether he or she is trustworthy, and gauge the true passion that he or she brings to it.”

The speaker’s and the listener’s brains align. We not only experience the story; we and the storyteller are having the same experience.

We’re talking about empathy again. Storyteller and hearer are connecting in a deep way.  

It’s all about the story structure, and the classic structure became classic because it is unsurpassed at squeezing the pituitary. We all know the classic structure. John Doe is living an uneventful life until something shakes it up. John then finds himself in conflict—with himself or another person or an organization or society or something. Things get bad, and then things get worse. Eventually John faces the source of his conflict and must find some resource within himself that enables him to prevail in a climactic confrontation, which he does. Order returns to John’s life, but he is forever changed.  

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