Workplaces are changing. And so are your staff...
Gone are the days where people were satisfied to be treated as an ‘order taker’, subject to the rule of a dictatorial boss who shouts orders and expects everyone to follow like lemmings.
People these days are more in touch than ever with their feelings, their heart, and their emotions.
And they’re more likely to keep working for a business that supports them and meets their core needs.
Your staff don’t want to simply ‘clock on, clock off’ every single day. They want to be part of something. They want to come along for the ride with you as you collectively build the business into something everyone can be proud of.
That’s why storytelling can be your most powerful ally in uniting and inspiring your team.
Now, by storytelling I don’t mean sitting around a campfire reading Beatrix Potter books aloud every day.
Let me explain...
The Benefits Of Storytelling
Storytelling is the oldest form of human communication. It’s how we have passed knowledge along to each other since we were scrawling our stories in pictograms on cave walls.
We have always used stories to explain what’s going on around us, and what those events mean. The ancient Greeks invented stories about their Gods that explained why crops failed, why thunderstorms happened, and most importantly… why their cultural moral code needed to be followed.
Today, storytelling is still the most powerful way to help people retain and understand information. It’s also the most powerful way to bring people into your mission, and to unite and inspire them.
Think about your favourite movies, TV shows, books and podcasts…
Why do you want to watch, read or listen until the end?
Because they have a storyline that takes you on a journey of experiencing different emotions.
And when you lead your team using stories, you share with them how their tasks within the business aligns with the bigger mission, purpose, and values of the business. In essence, how they fit into the story.
Stories fulfill our need to belong
Everyone knows that a team working together united is almost unstoppable. You see, historically we needed to band together into social groups to survive, so we all have all evolved with a core need of contribution.
Even though that need can be buried when if we’re more focused with survival-level needs (food, money for rent, etc)... once our survival-level needs are taken care of, we feel a longing to ‘feed our tribe’.
Using storytelling in your leadership style allows your team to picture their place in the story of your business. To feel that sense of belonging and contribution that we all need.
Storytelling transcends different learning styles
Not everyone is a great listener. Some people need to read instructions to understand them. Some people understand new concepts better through pictures and diagrams. Others learn kinesthetically (they need to feel it to understand).
My point is, everyone learns differently. So as a leader, you need to incorporate different teaching styles into your leadership to get the best level of performance from your staff.
When you tell stories, you intertwine the aspects of visualisation, auditory, and also kinesthetic (feeling) learning styles.
There’s more emotion in a story than just saying ‘hey, go and tick things off this list’. That’s why the greatest speakers and leaders are great storytellers, and incorporate stories into their speeches to bring people on an emotional journey with them.
How to incorporate storytelling in your leadership style
If you’re a leader or manager who speaks to your team in a basic way ie:
‘This is what I need you to do’
… start to notice the level of engagement your employees have with you.
Then start to identify ways you can weave in storytelling into the way you lead your team, and notice their engagement and connection levels significantly increase.
Don’t think you’re a good storyteller?
Start paying attention the next time you’re at a barbeque, party, or even in a meeting… chances are they’ll be someone there who is a good storyteller. You’ll know because people will be drawn to them. Good storytellers are relatable, people want to listen to what they have to say.
Take notice of their style, and try to incorporate it into your own.
And remember, practice makes perfect!
If you’d like to find out a bit more about The Game Changers, we’d love to hear from you. And if you’re curious to how we help our clients triple their profits, take more time off, and actually enjoy being in business again, let’s jump on a quick call.