Story telling is a vital skill for leaders. Being able to convey compelling stories helps build culture, spark change and modify behaviours. It can also inspire, provide examples or communicate a subtle and indirect point. As a leader, sharing stories of your own experiences can demonstrate authenticity and vulnerability which is important in building trust and rapport. It can also communicate who you are, transmit values and develop high performing teams.
Story telling is a tool that can be used to translate uninteresting metrics and analysis into something meaningful and engaging that links it all together. As a leader, listening to the stories of members of your team provides different perspectives.
It may not be your experience but the story provides an understanding of a different world and gives insight into how you can implement change or address needs within the organisation.
A recent experience for me around the power of stories occurred at a workshop session I attended with a group of professional facilitators. We were given the opportunity to deconstruct case studies and live examples from the group. During the session some participants shared their stories on the topic of Domestic Violence (DV). Despite all the statistics on DV, which are concerning, it was very different to hear the lived experience shared by people. It was a very visceral experience- the power and impact of the experience went straight to my gut and has stayed with me since that time.
Stories have been used since time immemorial as a method to transmit knowledge, teach and convey messages. They are an integral part of connecting people.
As a leader how are you using stories to connect, support, guide and attain your vision?