The Power of Storytelling
We could have written a regular business book, to share our formula for how to work with teams. But we chose not to. Not because we couldn’t but because we feel so strongly about the power of storytelling.
We encounter it all the time when we work with individuals, with teams and with organisations, that dry facts rarely engage people – but more importantly, that they rarely remember what they have read or heard, because it didn’t involve them, it didn’t relate directly to them.
Because, as you know – stories draw people in, stories engage, stories put people in the characters’ shoes and therefore they get to experience what the character does – and lasting learning and valuable insights can happen.
Storytelling is how knowledge has been passed on from parent to child, teacher to student, mentor to mentee – since the beginning of time. It works, it’s a simple as that. And even if the world around us has changed beyond recognition since the early days of mankind, we, human beings, haven’t changed significantly at all. And neither has the power of the storytelling and the impact it has on us.
- When you want to engage people around you, whether you are a leader or a team member – use your stories.
If you want your leader to understand the impact of a process change on a customer, tell them the customer’s own story of how they are affected, rather than just trying to relate the facts of the case.
If you want your team members to see the benefits of a change, share the story of how it will feel for them when the change is in place, what they’ll be able to do, how a working day will look.
If you want new employees to understand what the company is all about, share stories from the frontline, real stories of customers and why they have chosen your company – or employees stories about how the work gets done, what the culture is like.
And if you’re the leader of an organization going through change, talk about your personal connection to the change, how it affects you, your vision for the future and how it will impact others as well as yourself.
- Because, you see, what all stories have in common is that they touch something within us – a sense of recognition, a glimmer of hope, a feeling of joy or anticipation or something else. The important thing is that stories make us feel – and we are feeling beings, it’s when our feelings get engaged, that miracles happen.
Go on. Be a storyteller.