I had the pleasure today of joining Harris III and Kevin Carroll at a STORY Roundtable where the subject was the “Connector” Storyteller. While I don’t think there will be a replay, I’m told there may be excerpts available and, in any case, you should check out storygatherings.com/.
As we spoke about the significance of being a connector, I returned to my technology background and considered the many device connectors I have experienced during my career. I have a drawer filled with obsolete of useless connectors that we once called dongles. After a bit of research, it seems that name may have been a spin-off of the word dangle, which is what many of them did as they were connected to your computing device. Before dongles became more common as security devices, they were simply one-to-one connectors – 3.5mm headphone jack to lightning port, HDMI to VGA, ethernet to USB, etc. As a technology road warrior, I was never sure of what technology situation I might walk into, so I had a ditty bag full of an assortment of dongle connectors. Each one specific in purpose.
Today, I have a small Multiport Hub that makes all the previous single use dongles obsolete. Whether the need is data, video or audio, this hub supports the connection needed.
Now, consider your ability to be a Connector. I know many storytellers who have built a brand and following on a single and valuable focus. It may be curiosity, relaxation, focus, time management, or a myriad of other things. And while there are individuals who need these stories, it does have its limitations and risks. Having acquired some new morsel of knowledge, I’ve caught myself in the trap of “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” People are complex and I’d like to challenge you to explore beyond the limits of a single dongle story.
Some individuals you meet may be in need of a visual story of hope. Others may be best served with an insightful story of revolution. And it could be that the only connector needed is one of intentional curiosity and discovery of their story.
So, as you consider your privilege and the challenge of storytelling and discovery, don’t be a dongle. Be a hub of connection. Be prepared to invite and explore the other person’s current story from whatever perspective they are coming from. And in turn, be equipped to assist them in reimagining their story in a way they can be inspired to remember and act on.
If you have any questions or would like to explore this further, please comment below or connect with me. I’d love to learn about you and from you.