Charlton reviews

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. In the first of a new series, John Charlton leafs through the latesttraining book to land on his deskOnce upon a time, in pre-Playstation Britain, storytelling was a keycultural activity. Morals, lessons, wisdom and family and group histories wereimparted through stories. Why, when I sat at my grandmother’s grizzled knee in Sunderland, I wasregaled by local tales which conveyed one simple message to guide me throughlife’s ups and downs. It was “dinna go down pit, hinnie,” whichtranslates as “find yourself a comfy berth, pet”. Sadly storytelling has waned. There are no storytellers listed in my localYellow Pages. But Margaret Parkin, principal of Training Options, believesstorytelling can play a significant role in training. Some of you will have read her earlier books, Tales for Training and Talesfor Coaching. Now she has published a third, Tales for Change, which matches acollection of fables and stories to five categories of organisational change:dealing with change; being creative in times of change; the roles of leadersand teams undergoing change; dealing with the stress caused by change; anddeveloping emotional intelligence. On the use of storytelling in promoting creativity in times of change,Parkin writes: “Stories, metaphors and story-based activities… can beused as part of a strategic planning, brainstorming or mind-mapping session.They can be used to unpick a problem and… can encourage people to see thatthere is not just one solution to a problem but very often a great many.” Such advice may convince those trainers wary of using old tales to explainthe challenges and benefits of change. Of more use are the stories, rangingfrom Aesop’s Fables to internet postings. But many of the ‘morals’ which follow each story, such as ‘look after therocks and the sand will look after itself’ seem trite to this reader. Theysmack of Glastonbury Festival bong-stall wisdom rather than being of use totrainers. Tales for Change, by Margaret Parkin, Kogan Page, ISBN 0-7494-4106-2,£18.99. Margaret Parkin is a speaker at HRD Week on 22 April. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Charlton reviewsOn 1 Apr 2004 in Personnel Todaylast_img

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