Article: Using storytelling for communicating with your team

Employee Engagement

Using storytelling for communicating with your team

As a leader, communicating that vision with your people is your responsibility and the art of storytelling can be a powerful asset in that direction.
Using storytelling for communicating with your team

It is no secret that communication is the essence of growth and some of the most successful companies and people lay great emphasis on effective communications. Research indicates that to achieve a high degree of effectiveness in professional communications, leaders not only have to rely on facts and figures, but should also be able to connect with the employees at an emotional level. Sounds familiar? Well, it should. It is the same principle that marketers must rely on to communicate effectively with their target audience - the principle of storytelling. The good thing is, it is a skill that can be learned by anyone regardless of their function. Here are a few tips to enable you as a leader to communicate effectively with your team through storytelling. 

The right content for storytelling

It’s been said many times before, but the fact is that whether you are telling a story to your consumers or your team, content is and will always be king. As a leader, it enables you to share and instill a value system in your team. The two most important components of effective content are -

  • Convictions - the values that you consider worthy and desirable in your team
  • Action - how those values translate into action

Delivering the right impact from storytelling

Without the right impact, a good story is not worth the effort. To make storytelling effective, it needs to incorporate the basic principles of effective communication as well.

  • Focus on the facts, numbers, and analysis
  • Influence the emotions of your team by inspiring them
  • Share a vision with your audience

The story design

When you start writing a story for your team, use your own learnings and experience. It will not only enable you to stay true to the story, but also allow you to stay in command of the storytelling process as well. 

Get feedback

Do a test run with a few close associates. Notice the feedback and reactions you receive from your test audience. Pay attention to the pace and flow of the story, and review your delivery method to judge how much empathy you generate from your audience. Once you have that information, make necessary changes before you share it with your team.

Consider the diversity of your audience

Your team consists of a set of diverse individuals, each with their own set of duties. Most certainly, it may not be possible for each of them to relate to the same story. As a leader you must consider this nuance and tailor your story to address this diversity of your audience, perhaps by creating different version for each audience subset that you need to reach out to.

Every organization needs a compelling vision for the future that inspires the entire team. However, as a leader, communicating that vision with your people is your responsibility and the art of storytelling can be a powerful asset in that direction. Storytelling, when done right, allows you to build the trust of your team in your leadership style and promotes productivity. Effective leaders are adept at the art of storytelling that puts them and their organization as an advocate of change in the future rather than a custodian of the past. All it needs is a little practice and then sky is the limit for you to explore the possibilities it hold for you and your team.

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Topics: Employee Engagement

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