Narrative Perspective is about the attempt to look beyond dominant outlooks on and known behavior in situations. Whether it is your own or the common outlook of society. It is about a playful perception on (re)positioning standpoints and positions.
Narrative Perspective gives structure to the idea that the interpretation of single situations not only depends on its own merits, but is also dependent on the connections and relationships we attribute. We distinguish story from narrative. A story being a single and distinct event, the narrative being the thread of interpretation running through it, connecting stories and creating or revealing guiding (work/life) themes.
This interaction between story and narrative, what we call Narrative Perspective, reveals ánd creates meaning. The connections you make between stories are yóúr narratives. And your narratives are based on your stories. We all have dominant narratives. And we usually connect new stories based on the dominant narratives most know to us. Which makes them stay dominant. You will question less. Previous connections often predict the type of stories for future connections. And a narrative keeps developing through the stories we keep connecting. That makes the interaction between story and narrative a recursive process. They have a reinforcing effect each other. Our meaning and sense-making is the result of this recursive process. This makes it difficult to open up for an alternative outlook and other possibilities. And you are not the only one.
Other people, the organization you work in, your new in-laws: they all have got their own dominant narratives. And as long as we all believe our narratives to be true, and we forget to see them as the result of personal perception, dominant narratives will rather contribute to misunderstanding and division, than create a sense of connection and belonging. When they don’t (instantly) match obviously. It will be difficult to work or live healthily, harmoniously (enough), or honor diversity. And how can a context that doesn’t allow more colors of the rainbow than just a few can be helpful for living a meaningful life.
Narrative Perspective hopes to contribute to a healthy work and life context by exploring the interaction between narrative and story: explore the dominant and look for alternative routes. By alternately zoom in to singular stories and zoom in on the narratives – we gain insight in personal mechanisms of meaning making. It reveals your outlook and the way you attribute meaning to relations, situations and choices. And by locating the connected stories and the cross points of these connections, you’ve located the place to start making connections to other, forgotten or less told stories. Based on the meaningful elements of these stories and narratives. By doing so, you will create richer narratives which open up alternative possibilities. Those possibilities might be a better fit to what is meaningful to you then the known routes you’ve taken or choices you’ve made up till this moment.
It will open up your perception on roles you have and the position(s) you hold. Offering broader language and skills to communicate and connect with others more effectively, and most likely kind-heartedly. Narrative Perspective works for educational organizations, in an academic context and in technical environments.
For the learning platform and tailor-made (group) learnings please visit The School of Narrative Leadership.