Verbal Linguistic

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Verbal linguistic intelligence relies on our capacity to develop and grow according to words, their value and power, especially when they are formed into stories that give meaning to experience. Historically, stories and fables have given human beings the structures needed to negotiate the world. While we may not pay as much attention as in the past to shared myths or and “fairie tales” -- preferring a more objective, empirical foundation for thinking -- we still are attracted to the idea of story. For example, a common trust-building practice in teams is for each person to tell his or her life-story of why and how he or she came to work in that group.

To apply the process of reaching out to another, you can do the following:

Think of the person with whom you want to build a better relationship. Now write a fairie tale about how you would like to see the situation develop. Use faerie tale language and motifs, for example, dragons, castles, kings and princesses. Begin with the words, “Once upon a time…” and end with “and they lived happily ever after.” In the faerie tale make yourself the hero or heroine, choose an appropriate name, and keep writing until your character has passed through all five stages:
1. The starting point situation and the hero (or heroine’s) actions to find inner strength. Perhaps the hero must go on a lonely quest in search of a vision or make a visit to the local magician or wise woman where he/she learns something of great value. (Inner strength principle -1)

2. A series of trials that helps the hero or heroine become increasingly “selfless,” overcoming the potential temptations of various gains and pain of difficult losses. These can replicate in a symbolic way the very things that you have to do to take a just and selfless stand. By describing them as story elements you may discover which are particularly strong or weak. (Letting go of gain and loss principle - 2)

3. A reframing of the hero or heroine’s challenge in a way that helps highlight what’s good and what’s true. What does the hero discover about the situation, the other person or self on the way to contact the other person. (Focus on both the good and true principle - 3)

4. A “meeting” of some form, from a secret ritual to a jousting match, that shows the hero/heroine coming into deeper appreciation for the other person, a willingness to live the truth, including their part in the creation of the conflict (Connect with appreciation and ownership principle - 4)

5. A long-term resolution of conflicts and difficulties over time (Engage to stay engaged principle - 5)
Once you have written your story, read it carefully for what it is telling you about your approach to the other person and how you will succeed. Notice important behaviors and discoveries. For example, perhaps the hero first is given an amulet to help with the power of recollection. Perhaps it would help to find something in your environment, an object that you can literally use as this “amulet.” Maybe, it’s only your car keys in your pocket, but the story’s wisdom is in communicating symbolically what will help take you safely across the trust divide.

Links to the other intelligences exercises:

Naturalistic
Interpersonal
Musical
Logical Mathematical
Bodily Kinesthetic
Visual Spatial
Intrapersonal



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