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Managers as Mentors, 3rd Edition by Marshall Goldsmith, Chip R. Bell

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The Challenge: Creating the Proper Tension

A good story should contain a challenge, which can also be described as “dissonance.” To communicate dissonance, it’s important to create a dilemma that the protégé can identify with. Even the storytelling mentor’s story had a bit of tension when he said, “Jeff saw this as the perfect time to bring his starstruck buddy back to reality.”

Once you’ve created a dilemma, you should describe in your story plan the challenge for each of the key characters, using one sentence—for example, “John’s challenge is such-and-such. Sue’s challenge is such-and-such.” This can help you keep things straight or “manage” the story.

The following questions can help you create dissonance:

• What do I want the protégé to feel? ...

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