New age communication and Communal Harmony
Every now and then we are exposed to and get bombarded by media be it smartphone, internet, social media (Facebook, Instagram, twitter, YouTube) etc. In its avatar media chaos (multiple media) is always there. Our thought process, perceptions and mindset are vulnerable to them and can easily get hacked, changed and shaped at any time by the media. An ordinary man can get compelled just by a story, no matter even its true, fake or fabricated (it may be). This is the potency of a story.
What happens during and after listening or going through a story is that our brain no longer remains the same. It gets tuned to the brain of the storyteller, we call this neural coupling, and we know how important neural coupling is for effective communication. Different individuals start to feel emotions the same way as experienced by the storyteller if they are told the same story, even if the language and phrases used in story could be different, the high order regions of the brain, frontal cortices align the same way.
Nonetheless, storytelling has been used since ages to impart moral lessons and knowledge. Story has advantages it can easily be remembered over cold and hard facts. In a study done on students by a Stanford professor Jennifer Aaker only five percent of the student could remember facts told to them than to 62% of student who were told the story. So, we should always appreciate and encourage positive moral stories to teach us values. In a country like India, we should take lessons from the works of the storytelling sub group of Healing Through Remembering (HTR) project of Northern Ireland and promote stories of communal harmony. At the same time, we should also discourage the stories that could fuel communal tensions.
Social harmony means when we forget the divide and respect the differences. The powerful medium of storytelling can embrace with values and morals from different communities. The unfamiliar will become acceptable because of a beautiful story. Similarly, the strange will not invoke hostility through stories at an attractive and appealing emotionally. But it has to be remembered that no matter how powerful the story is, it is the storytelling or the narrative techniques which is going to ultimately on how effective the story to be for the audience. In other words, it is the communication of the story which will ultimately matter and be decisive factor. However, it has to be remembered that, storytelling has to go through the litmus test of audience profiling, which is a fundamental principal of communication. This would mean that for every age group, social class, level of education and even gender, stories and more importantly the storytelling has to be different and suitable. This would imply different sets of graphics and images to be used for different population pyramid audiences for the same subject, as much as it would entail the modulation in language and variation in the usage of technology. It has to be remembered storytelling works best in when it is customized. In context of customization it is the Ego who will assume greater importance than the community. This is a gift of emerging technology.
Business Communication by Dr. Suparna Dutta, PHI, DELHI, India, 2013
Business Communication book by Dr. Suparna Dutta, PHI, DELHI, India, 2013