Firstly, it brought to light how we never really know people.
At least, we can only know them through our own perceptions, based on the information we are given mixed with our own experiences.
Secondly, I was reminded of Harper Lee’s gift for storytelling. Her character development is superb.
In To Kill A Mockingbird, we are quickly drawn into Scout’s world, watching events unfold through her eyes.
The supporting characters, Jem, Dill, Atticus, Calpurnia, Boo Radley, Tom Robinson, The Ewells, all play supporting yet important roles in defining Scout’s character.
In Watchman, we are reunited with Scout twenty years later. She is a friend with whom we quickly and comfortably settle back into our relationship.
She is older, but we can see that she was definitely shaped by her childhood in Maycomb, Alabama.
As we read, we change as she changes, shaped by her perceptions.
That’s the beauty of great writing. It directs us where to look and how to feel.
Upon finishing the book, I re-watched the film adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird.
Things looked a little bit differently to me now. Not all was as it had first appeared.
My perception had changed. I had more information. I questioned more things. I looked at the townsfolk with a somewhat different view. I was no longer ‘innocent Scout’ but ‘adult Scout’.
Perception changes our world-view and we have to decide how it fits with our self-perception. That’s our choice, one with which Scout finds herself faced.
That’s the beauty of story.
We can visit worlds we have never been. Slip into someone else’s skin and look through their eyes.
Their perception has the power to change ours or question what we thought we knew.
Their feelings evoke the same feelings in us.
If their story moves us, we are forever changed. As we learn about the lives of others, our self-perception develops based on how their lives fit with our morals and ethics.
Stories let us think about how we would react in the same situation, whether or not we agree with the protagonist.
But of course, this is fiction. A character’s world and how they see it and react within it are specifically created to make us look in a particular direction or feel a specific way.
Real life is much more difficult to control.
What is your customer’s perception of you?
Can they walk in your shoes?
Do they understand how your work is making a difference?
Your success stories are the character development of your business.
Your customers are your supporting characters.
Their stories are the plot.
Your success stories create a positive perception with relatable, memorable characters and outcomes.
Through your success stories, your prospects can walk in your customer’s shoes and feel their struggles and triumphs as they develop their perception of you and what you do.
If you want people to understand and support your work, they need to know your stories.
Have you read Go Set A Watchman? What did you think?
Share your comments below.
If you’d like to chat about how the stories of your successes shape your customer’s perception of your work, connect with me here.
Book cover: Amazon.ca