Facts do not change minds; stories do.

I know because I have given lectures based on facts and watched the audience’s eyes glaze over. When I speak or write about my personal experience, I get feedback like this: I appreciate your vulnerability. You seem authentic. I can really relate to what you were saying/writing.

All of us are subject to confirmation bias: the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.

When we select facts, we choose facts that support us, and we choose against those that undermine our argument. You can find “facts” to support almost any argument.

Readers know that, and interpret those facts as “spin.” Think: Politicians.

However, our stories are less biased, although we choose to present from our history only those experiences that support our arguments, too.

When we say, “Here is what you can take away from my experience,” readers can gain wisdom about how to deal with the same or similar experiences. In some cases they can gain a sense of hope that they can get through a tough time because you got through it before them.

One of the best responses to prejudice is, “Here is how your opinion effects me.”

To be understood, you must be heard; to be heard you must be personal.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store