Storytelling seems to be the latest buzzword, and it’s here to stay. Improve your storytelling skills to keep up in business.
1. Be clear on your ‘why’
People connect with a story. It’s why videos go viral. If you think back to all the lectures and talks you’ve been to, it isn’t the facts and figures that stand out in your mind or change your thinking. It’s the story behind the speaker, it is their ‘why’. The next generation of employees want purpose driven organisations, they won’t connect to a company with a brand and communications based on increasing share profit, they will connect to the why.
2. Be clear in your impact
That ‘why’ needs to show positive impact. According to Forbes, “Millennials want to know how they will make a positive difference in the world if they join your business”. We have a growth of B-Corporations, Social Enterprises as
well as start-ups focused on building social impact models. What impact is your business having and what partnerships can you create to improve your positive impact? Build this into your story. I loved walking into a restaurant the other night and seeing the Who Gives a Crap brand in their bathrooms.
3. Know everyones stories, practice empathy constantly
I recently ran a fundraising event with a local organisation called Barefaced Stories. It was overwhelmingly successful, beyond my expectations. We had 8 female storytellers sharing things about their life, something that had made an impact on them.
The night was an interesting reflection on what happens in peoples lives. You may not know your colleague just found out his wife has cancer, or that another’s husband was made redundant. Barefaced Stories tagline is ‘refreshingly honest, bold and brutally frank’. What goes on outside of our LinkedIn/ Facebook/ white-picket fence lives affect our stress, happiness and productivity at work.
While you shape your organisation’s story, don’t forget to be aware of everyone else’s stories. Make empathy and compassion a priority to create a positive working environment.
Storytelling is compassionate communication, it boosts connections between people and is a vital skill when we need to stand out from the crowd.