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Narativ, Inc

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 Mr. 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 function of its own. 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.

Personal Storytelling

At Narativ we focus on personal, or you might say subjective storytelling. We focus on subjective stories because quite simply they have the most power to connect listener and storyteller, speaker and audience. And we do mean telling stories in a live context, for example, conferences, team off-sites, meetings, one-on-one exchanges. For each person we train, we develop a 4-minute story according to our What Happened? method, which requires that the storyteller only describe events that were perceived by the 5 senses. Rigorous and precise, this method removes interpretation, bias, judgment, and commentary from a story. These are extraneous layers that prohibit a more raw and immediate contact with the storyteller’s experience. Once removed, the listener’s mind will fill in for itself, adding emotion, interpretation, and empathy in a well-documented natural process.

A New Paradigm

At Narativ, we think of listening and storytelling as a communication paradigm. It positions co-workers, leadership and teams, customers and representatives, clients and salespeople, in a reciprocal and mutually influential relationship of listening and telling. By design, this engenders the positive aspects of human exchange: a curious quest for information, a keen measure of trustworthiness, an appreciation of commonality, a desire to collaborate.

When we say our method transforms communication, we are referring to the experience of this 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 but allow it to reach its full potential.

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