Storytelling in the workplace: Management Tips

Published by | Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Storytelling in the office

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This week we’ll dive into one of my favorite topics: storytelling. Using stories as a communication device can ensure that your message is understood and remembered. Why is that? Good stories inspire the listener, tap into emotions, and involve characters who are dealing with issues the listener truly cares about. When you capture your listeners’ emotions, they listen—and become truly engaged.

When is the last time you shared a story at work instead of just delivering a clear, concise but unemotional message to your team? Stories are the backbone of many great speeches, and using them as a communication device can be helpful in leading, motivating, and inspiring your team at work. So here’s your homework: Find as many examples of engaging storytelling as you can to help inspire your own business communication. Start with your favorite search engine or YouTube and quickly you’ll start finding many motivating video examples. My personal favorite: Jimmy Valvano’s famous 1993 ESPY acceptance speech. As you watch, consider how storytelling can inspire your own leadership communication in the office.

For my second management tip this week, we’ll consider what it means to build a transparent work environment defined by open, frank, and personal exchanges, and yes—even a few stories. The more comfortable your team feels in its environment, the more you’ll encourage great communication and even stronger performance. Watch this week’s videos to start adding the power of storytelling to your workplace communication. Check back next week for more Management Tips.

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