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                 Power  Of  The Prompt 
                                  Linda Belans, Ed.D


  • Create and foster a strengths-based culture

  • Discover tools and ideas through story-sharing

  • Create and nurture a sense of belonging​

During the ongoing process of storytelling, complementary talents and skills emerge. This occurs when teams have the intention, patience, and commitment to embrace each other’s unfolding stories overtime. We transition from working as individuals to a collective body moving in tandem and harmony toward a unified vision.


Begin each meeting or PD with a specific prompt to help set the landscape. We can match the prompt to the collective transformation we are seeking.

Prompts begin with: Take us to a moment when...

Approach and receive prompts, stories, and responses in a respectful, sacred way. Be fully present. It is the responsibility of the witnesses/team to listen without judgment and without making suggestions. 

Example Prompt: Take us to a moment when you spoke truth to power.

Our school board was voting to ban library books in our high school library. I went to the meeting and argued against it. They ended up voting for the ban, however, I met other families there who agreed with me. We decided to start meeting regularly to create a coalition to show up consistently at meetings, and to develop strategies to elect a more student-centered board in the next cycle.


What did you do to make that happen?


I invited a friend to accompany me for support and for safety. I did research, prepared and practiced my 3 minute argument pointing out that students have complete access to books on line at home and elsewhere, and that banning books drives them to read the books and others wherever they can connect. After the meeting, I engaged with like-minded families who made themselves known to me and traded contact information, then followed up with them.


If time allows, note strengths you gleaned

  • Engage others

  • Research

  • Practice

  • Honor story: Listen

  • Be curious

  • Everyone has a piece of the truth

  • Be bold

  • Follow-through






Suggested Guide

Number of participants

  • 2- 5


  • 3-5 minutes per storyteller.

  • About 2 minutes for Witnesses responses.

  • About 30 seconds of reflective silence between each storyteller.



Facilitator offers the prompt: Take us to a moment when...

Storyteller responds in present tense if possible.


  • Listen without judgment, interruption, or questioning the Storyteller.

  • At the end of the story, each Witness offers one or more of the following:

    • A strength they heard.

    • An idea they might try.

    • Something that moved them.


  • Receives Witnesses’ offerings without responding to them.  


  • Thank the Storyteller for her story.


Facilitator asks for reflective silence.

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