Storytelling, a powerful tool

No matter what role you are in, you need to communicate a message, and storytelling has been known to be the effective way to do this. Why has storytelling been a powerful tool as far back as we can go? In her article for Management Today, Jennifer Black outlines reasons that make storytelling a powerful tool.

The benefits of storytelling in management include improving relationships, communicating strategy, building culture, creating a shared vision, fostering shared learning, modeling excellence, supporting strategic management, and enhancing employee loyalty. Furthermore, you can build trust, as well as your brand through stories.

Successful storytelling builds connections and it often revolves around journeys, adversity, and resolution. You can use stories when you want to engage external stakeholders and even attract invesment.

Within the recruitment process, your story can help attract the right talent by conveying pupose and values. Telling a good story is simple and there is a formula. Black brings to mind a story we all know, Little Red Riding Hood. The story starts with ‘the way things are’, Little Red Riding Hood heads to grandma with a basket of goodies. On comes a big, bad wolf bringing adversity to the main character. Finally, having been aided to safety by a woodsman, she is able to reach her grandma. Three simple elements to create a powerful story.

A good story, taccording to Black, should depict change, be detailed, engaging, and authentic. Ensure the narrative is simple, focusing on the audience’s needs and wants.

Author and brand strategist Nick Westergaard shares his formula in the form of the 4C’s for an effective story – character, conflict, change, context.

Your customer or client, as per Nick, is the character of your story. Obstacles in their way are the conflict. A change occurs once the conflict is resolved (much like the Hero’s Journey). Finally, the context is the element of your story that makes it even more memorable. It is the environment, place, time, the very backdrop upon which the story is set.

Stories can propel the audience into a time, space and emotion that lead to better memory, and connection with the message.

(Image credit: Helena Perez Garcia)

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