Having worked with Sotheby’s experts to develop how they could use storytelling to communicate with their clients we were asked to look at how we could help all London staff to get to know each other better and then do the same with representatives from Sotheby’s European offices (who were visiting for a 2-day event). We suggested a workshop that would provide a lively, creative and enjoyable opportunity for colleagues (both experts and support), who don’t necessarily know each other, to interact, inform and inspire each other. The fun and participatory activity would employ some easily applied processes and skills of storytelling, as a way to learn more about each other and what they do while sharing and celebrating what makes Sotheby’s amazing.
For the London networking workshop about 100 participants were treated to drinks and snacks while we helped them to create a story that said something both about themselves and Sotheby’s. As they developed their story, using different storytelling techniques, they also shared it with 3 different people so that they could meet them and get to know what they do. The European workshop followed the same process and was an informal energetic end to a day of sitting and listening to presentations.
The intense and fast paced workshop provided an opportunity for the London staff to find shared enthusiasms, often unexpectedly between individuals who did not normally meet. Although they were very tired the European participants enjoyed getting to know each other through their stories and in how they each responded to the different techniques that influenced how the stories were told. The stories helped participants to consider their role within Sotheby’s and its ongoing story. Hearing their colleagues’ stories built relationships that could strengthen the overall connections throughout the building. At the very least as staff walked around the labyrinth of corridors there would be more hellos and smiles exchanged. While being an opportunity to meet new colleagues and build new connections the participants could also take away the techniques used in the workshop to enhance how they communicate and interact on a day to day basis.