Narrative Authority

“Narrative Authority is an other-oriented, empathy-focused, dialogue-based, culturally sensitive, and always story-dependent approach for working with others.” —Fahmida Hossain

Narrative Authority is a concept (and soon to be a series of products and services) developed by Naridus colleague Fahmida Hossain as the core of her Ph.D. research in Healthcare Ethics.

Her project places narrative and storytelling as a lived means to understand organizational culture; change efforts; best practices improvements; and everyday, routine, person-to-person encounters.

At heart: Narrative Authority presumes that humans are (1) relational and understand one another through story. And, (2) the urgency, importance, and meaning of tasks and actions arise through the shared significance story provides.

Narrative Authority also is currently offered as a guide for health care providers to ensure that the viewpoints, expectations, perspectives, and religious and cultural norms of diverse patients are recognized, understood, respected, and incorporated into every facet of providing ethical and effective care.

The Term:
Narrative here refers to the process of revealing the story.
Authority indicates the significance and guidance and direction the story supplies.
The word authority, here, also represents a “collective and shared power” of narrative acts.  

Therefore, Narrative Authority is “the process of giving oneself over to the foundational nature of the narrative act and to stand in the shared space where one sees the other-as-self.”

Sharing stories helps people to develop new perspectives from which see, embrace, and respond to other’s opinions and points of view.

Note:  The term Narrative Authority emerged during a series of February 2018 conversations with Frank Lehner. I am grateful for his insights, support, and mentorship through which I have developed my perspective on and applications for Narrative Authority.