If you like this post, please share:

If you liked this post, please share:

Even though according to the Chinese New Year Calendar 2014 is the Year of the Horse, I’m declaring it the Year of the Story.

Why?  Because I think storytelling is one of the most compelling ways to engage people. It makes what you’re talking about more meaningful and allows people to connect with you on a different level.

Storytelling can be used in just about any content you want to produce these days — slideshows, blog posts, videos, podcasts, books, papers, etc. It can also be used to sell clients over the phone or in face-to-face settings. It can make your next conference presentation all that much better.

Storytelling breaks the ice and often gets people laughing. Storytelling is a way to archive your experiences and have them live on through others. And, storytelling can teach.

Earlier this year, I told the story of how I got into healthcare design. For those of you with blogs, telling your business story makes for great posts. Or an engaging opening for your next conference or client presentation.

(For six ideas on business stories you can tell and how to do it, read this great post by Mike Alton.)

Many of you also have stories about projects you’ve worked on or clients/customers who use your products. By telling their story, you’re telling yours.

One of my clients, Healing HealthCare Systems, gets heartfelt emails, letters, and calls each week from patients or relatives of patients who watched The C.A.R.E. Channel while in the hospital.  It’s simply astounding how many people contact HHS to share their stories and thank them for helping to ease their pain and suffering.

Believe me, we’ll be looking for more ways to tell these stories in 2014. How about you?  What’s your story?

P.S.  Please do me a favor — if you liked this post and like this blog, please share it with others by sending them the link and/or post it on your Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, etc.  Also, don’t forget to subscribe, so you’ll get emails when new content is posted.  Thanks!

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Hussain Varawalla

7 years ago

I was first drawn to healthcare facility design in my fifth (and final) year studying architecture at IIT Kharagpur, West Bengal,India. In our fourth year we had just completed a project on the theory behind design thinking, and I was attracted to the complexity of operational systems that exist in a modern healthcare facility, leading to complex relationships between the constituent parts (different medical and support departments) that made up the whole.

I used to play chess and bridge fairly well, but once I got involved in this multi-dimensional game of architectural design (especially healthcare design) the attraction of these board and card games paled in comparison. For my Bachelor’s of Architecture thesis I chose to redesign the Hinduja Hospital at Mahim, Mumbai, India and enjoyed myself thoroughly. This enjoyment showed up in the grade, “Ex” for excellent.

That was a long time back and I have a lot of conceptual and schematic designs for hospitals under my belt since then. In this time I have worked for five organizations solely engaged in the design and construction of healthcare facilities, two of which were start-ups. The first one fizzled out; I stayed with the second for 15 years till it became the best organization in India at what it was particularly doing. It’s been a long journey, difficult at times, now I find myself in this two-person healthcare architecture consulting firm offering really what constitutes advisory with design assistance services working out of my bedroom at home. I have always been comfortable working with a bed in the room since my college days, but never found much opportunity to do so after that.

Now in the twilight of my life, I have come full circle, I can lie down now and then and let my mind wander. I get my best design “eureka” moments this way.

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Sara Marberry, EDAC, is a healthcare design knowledge expert, thought catalyst, and strategic marketing and business development consultant. The author/editor of three books, Sara writes and speaks frequently about industry trends and evidence-based design. She can be reached at sara@saramarberry.com.

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