Page 5 - VOICE December 2014

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Storytelling is a powerful way for managers to
spark the desire and willingness in others to take
action. In fact, being able to influence people this
way is one of the stand-out behaviours that sets
great managers apart from good managers. But
what do we mean by Storytelling and why does it
matter so much?
Storytelling has become
something of buzzword
recently with many organ-
‘corporate narrative’ as
the next big thing. Howev-
er, developing the confi-
dence and competence of
individuals to use stories
as a way of engaging oth-
ers in day-to-day language
is much more than a
phase. Jane Sparrow identified the role of Story-
teller in her book,
The Culture Builders: Leadership
Strategies for Employee Engagement,
as one of five
core roles that line managers need to effectively
adopt to build and sustain high performance in
She defines a Storyteller as someone who can
weave every-day examples into their communica-
tion in such a way that it helps people connect the
dots, see the bigger picture – and take action. So,
whilst many organisations believe they are ‘telling
stories’, the real challenge is, what are these stories
actually achieving? It’s only when the right stories
are told in the right way, and for the right reasons,
that managers succeed in igniting a deeper, more
emotional spark that resonates with people. Sto-
ries can shift perceptions and create a moment of
personal connection that people seek. But they’ve
got to be the right stories.
Using The Culture Build-
ers Engagement Intelli-
gence Profiling tool and
theory from the book,
Values Based Leadership
has worked to train and
develop global leaders to
become more effective
storytellers and help
make their stories count
for more than just hear-
ing an interesting, enter-
taining anecdote, or a stream of impressive facts.
Using the profiling tool, we’ve helped individuals to
see where they have strengths in storytelling and
where there might be opportunities to build the
skill further.
Finding the Emotional Connection
Both Values Based Leadership and The Culture
Builders have found, through their work, that one
of the key barriers to effective story-telling is using
metaphor and using personal stories to go beyond
the rational narrative. Detail and process is all well
Effective Storytelling: How to take
people to action (and keep them