How to Use Storytelling Effectively in Leadership

Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever. (Source: Curatti)

Storytelling always has been present in the world; starting with ancient drawings on cave walls, to present day Facebook and Snapchat. Unfortunately, the art of storytelling has been absent from business and leadership communications.

Since stories carry emotion rather than just facts, people relate then remember the key information. You’ll be more persuasive and the message will make a greater impression. Well-chosen vignettes deem a leader inspiring and engaging.

A successful story aims to3: Inform: share intellectually what we know, Engage: to communicate in a way that captures the attention of the audience, and Inspire: to stimulate imaginative curiosity. Here are some tips:story telling

  1. Talk about failures as well as successes. Employees can relate better to situations where the outcome was not as intended.
  2. Start with a hero. Whether it’s the company, product, industry or site, a hero can be captivating.
  3. Have a clear main message. Your story should focus on one value or idea with supporting yet simple details.
  4. Relate to existing situations. Your story can be more effective if it relates to current events or popular topics.2
  5. Keep it short. If your story is easy to understand, it will be memorable enough that people will retell it.
  6. Inspire your audience. “End with a resolution that motivates your listeners to action.”1

Sharing facts and figures work in some cases, but not all. Motivating your employees requires a level of sharing that comes from storytelling.

If you enjoyed this post about storytelling, stay tuned for my next blog post for more on storytelling.


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By | 2017-05-24T18:21:47+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Storytelling|0 Comments

About the Author:

Karen Gobler
Karen Gobler is a change management communications expert skilled in designing and driving communication campaigns that maintain employee morale and productivity, which often decline during transition. She brings a depth of leadership experience from multiple industries, including managing successful communications through six mergers and acquisitions, numerous executive changes, brand rollouts and product launches. Karen has transformed employee engagement pre- and post-change with campaign development, situational planning and contingency strategies.