Before we begin any engagement, we listen
Narativ was founded in 2000 by Murray Nossel, Ph.D., and Dr. Paul Browde. At the heart of our company is a listening and storytelling method that transforms communication. The story of its development began much earlier, in the height of the AIDS epidemic in New York City, when Dr. Nossel realized that his training as a clinical psychologist hadn’t prepared him to counsel patients facing imminent death from a disease the world knew little about. Therapy was irrelevant but listening, he discovered, had a healing capacity. He found that the more fully he listened, the more deeply his patients told their stories. This provoked an insight central to his method: there is a reciprocal relationship between listening and telling.
Since that time, Murray and Paul collaborated to fully codify the Narativ method so that it could be applied in various communication environments. They pioneered its use in a performance called Two Men Talking, which gained critical acclaim and toured the US and Europe. This led to interest from the business and non-profit communities. As our team has grown, we’ve applied its transformative power in leadership development, sales, advocacy, coaching, team building and employee onboarding.
Personal Storytelling For Business
We take people through a rigorous and precise method that gets to the emotional heart of the story, generating a message that reaches the hearts and minds of your audiences.
At Narativ we focus on business-related personal storytelling. Personal stories have the most power to connect listener and storyteller, speaker and audience. Too often, business executives don’t bring in their own experiences to make a point. They instead rely on what they think are success stories that only deal with numbers, data and statistics that show growth. They lack relatability and the personal touch that will make them memorable and impactful.
Not Business as Usual
Genuine storytelling takes a modicum of risk. Safe, pat, and overly vetted stories do nothing to advance understanding. Listeners balk at their lack of authenticity. We believe that storytelling requires a safe space, so the appropriate amount of risk is up to the teller to decide. The point is that personal storytelling is deeply human, and the storyteller can bring in any degree of emotional candor he or she feels will create a connection. Connection is the first principle of all storytelling. It lays the foundation for whatever other communication objectives will follow. With a dash of risk, bold and relevant stories become a critical tool in your communication toolkit.
"As leaders, we don't always have to be stoic and approach our message with a three-point PowerPoint presentation.The stories that we have in our own lives help inform why we do the work we do, and how we can then deliver on that and make those stories real for our clients and customers. It was one of the best training experiences I've ever had."
Matt Bahl, VP, Workplace Solutions Group, Prudential
A New Paradigm
Listening and storytelling form a communication paradigm. They position co-workers, leadership and teams, customers and representatives, clients and salespeople, in the reciprocal and mutually influential relationship of listening and telling. By design, this engenders the positive aspects of human exchange: a curiosity about what others know, an environment of trust, and an appreciation of commonality, the basis of good collaboration.
When we say our method transforms how people engage with work, we are referring to this experience of positive exchange. Beyond labels, positions, roles and strategies, if you build your business relationships on a mutually respectful and intentional ground of listening and telling, you not only humanize communication. You support it to reach its full potential.
More About Us
Founder Murray Nossel, PH.D.
Murray Nossel, Narativ’s co-founder, believes that each of us have a story and the ability to tell it. It’s his confidence in us that forms the basis of his executive coaching and keynotes. For over 20 years he has been “listening” stories out of leaders and groups to support strategic goals and community engagement.
Narativ’s trainers hail from various backgrounds, such as business, theater, psychology, filmmaking, and human resources. What unites them is a commitment to listening as the basis of all good communication, especially storytelling. If you’re needing someone to lend an ear to the story of your venture, they offer the best kind of listening.
The Listening and Storytelling Method
At the core of everyone of our services is the listening and storytelling method, which was created in 1994 when Narativ co-founder Murray Nossel, PhD, was working with people with HIV/AIDS. Telling their stories was urgent, but crafting stories that were personal and vulnerable required guidelines.