Have you ever noticed the unique bonds that are forged between you and the people who have shared an experience with you?  Some experiences are traumatic, some adventurous, some beautiful, and some are downright awful. But if you experience something with another person, whether you are strangers or old friends, that experience will create a strengthened relationship between you that is incredibly unique. I call this the Shared Story Experience.

The Postpartum Party Ward

On November 21st and 22nd my wife and I were in our hospital’s Postpartum ward with our new baby Willow. As it turns out, two really good friend couples of ours were enjoying their new babies in the same ward: Sociallogical’s founder Jeff Roach and his wife Kelly Lawson welcomed baby Jude to the world and Potter/Artist Darren Emenau and Nora Kennedy welcomed baby Lucy.

We popped the Champagne, turned on the music and turned the unit into the postpartum PARTY ward! What are the odds that three groups of friends would share such a powerful experience in tandem? From this point forward the parents of these three little bambinos will have a special bond created by the shared experience of delivering babies within hours of each other. This is the shared story that we experienced together.

Businesses Share Stories With Partners

Businesses work with other companies that are in line with their own value sets, interests, and experiences and should seek opportunities to pass on these shared story experiences. They will align your brands and boost all of you as you expose your humanity and what is important to both of you.

  • Maybe you decide to purchase a book from the bookstore that is in your building instead of ordering it online – your shared story is that you reside in the same physical space.
  • Maybe three years ago you went on a trade mission to China with the CEO of a company you really want to work for. That shared experience of travelling overseas should be more than enough to open dialogue about working together.
  • Maybe you partnered with another company before to serve a shared client and maybe the experience was brutal but you got through it as a team. Use that experience to open the door to do more work together and get great referrals (and maybe don’t share that story publicly).

Whatever the shared story is or was, use it as your connecting point to strengthen your business relationships. If you don’t have shared story experience, go out and create them! At the core, the best partnerships are based on positive relationships that are strengthened by shared experiences.

Tips For Creating Shared Stories

  • Go on a trade mission adventure with other CEOs that you want to work with,
  • Invite other key players in your community to go see a hockey game or a concert together,
  • Join clubs, sit on a board of directors, get involved with organizations that also attract the people you want to do business with,
  • Hire the services of the company that you want to be hired by,

Or, arrange to have babies at the same time as social media experts that will help grow your community, as pottery masters who will create the very best client gifts, or as a filmmaker who could help you tell your story to the world :)

Do you have a shared story experience you could share with me? I’m a collector - I’d love to hear it!