The power of storytelling
Stories spark emotions. We have an intuitive, emotional side as well as a deliberate, rational side to our character. Too often in business we only try and connect with people on a rational level but this isn’t enough to actually change how people behave. People may understand what you want them to do but if they aren’t emotionally engaged they just won’t do it! Storytelling gives leaders a way of inspiring colleagues in a way that appeals to both sides of our character.
People use stories to make sense of things. Everyone has a story in their head about what their work means for them. This story is the result of thousands of interactions and experiences and it becomes the 'lens' through which we interpret the world around us. Leaders with a shared strategic narrative can engage people in the wider context of the journey the business is on, giving people a framework to understand changes and action required. A story has a core message, but can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the lens through which it's being heard.
People learn from stories. Stories are a great way of learning from others, and can help shape cultures within business. Stories give people the space to discover the implicit meaning of what’s being said, enabling them to learn, discover and own what they need to do for themselves. Storytelling is a great tool for leaders seeking new behaviours in their teams. Sharing emotive stories of best practice inspires individuals and teams, helps them learn more quickly and helps organisations to become more agile.