by Bruno Bettelheim
To change a person’s behaviour, one first needs to change their beliefs. To change a person’s beliefs, one first needs to make the person want to change. To make a person want to change is to have them think differently. To help people think differently we use stories. The Uses of Enchantment is a powerful discourse on stories and their effect on children’s minds. There are many parallels however, between the child and child-like thinking and adult and adult-like thinking; too many for this book just to be used for children. The professional leader / manager needs a high level of skill in story-telling. This will enable them to change thinking patterns, challenge assumption and raise new questions in the minds of their followers / employees. More so, it will enable them to do this in a positive, non-threatening manner that with time can become exciting and enthralling for their people. Bettelheim’s work introduces the would-be story-teller to the basics of narrative through fairytales we all remember ourselves as children.
Daryle Abrahams, September 2008