Power of Storytelling
Storytelling is one of the most powerful way that leaders use to teach, influence, and inspire their followers. It is a great way to forge connections between people and ideas. Storytelling can be used to convey experiences, history, culture, values, and ideas that unite people. There are many cultures, experiences, and values that we hold in common and that hold us together. Storytelling strengthens our bond with each other.
The same hold true for the business world in which organizations stories solidify their relationship with each other. It also helps organizations relate to and learn from one another.
There are various benefits of storytelling including:
- Encouraging cooperation between people
- Increasing willingness to communicate feelings, thoughts, and ideas
- Encouraging creativity
- Enhancing verbal as well as listening skills
Effective storytelling has a major impact on the listeners and creates a memorable learning experience.
- It connects learners
Effective storytelling does much more than creating a sense of connection among people. It builds trust and familiarity among people and allows the listeners to relate to the stories and learn from them. Good storytelling can have multiple meanings and can convey complex ideas and thoughts in a very simple and easy to understand way. Also, effective storytelling is more engaging than dry discussions of ideas. You can take the example of a typical company meeting.
In one company, the leader presents the financial achievements of the last six months in bullet points and graphs displayed on the projector and briefly explains it to the rest of the employees. On the other hand, in the other company the leader tells a good story about how they achieved their targets. The employees of the first company leave the meeting knowing what their company has achieved in numbers, whereas the employees of the other company leave the meeting learning about various ways and strategies that can help them succeed. They come out with new knowledge, new ideas, new thoughts to draw on. They have been influenced. They have been inspired.
- Everyone learns something
Another good thing about effective storytelling is that everyone can relate to it on different levels and learns something from it. In other words, storytelling works for all types of learners. It makes better connections among people and businesses.
There are basically three types of learners in any gathering. The first type is visual learners. These learners learn from illustrations, videos or pictures etc. The second type of learners are auditory learners who learn through discussions and lectures. The third type of learners are kin aesthetic learners who learn by feeling, experiencing, or doing. Storytelling works for all three types of learners. The visual learners learn from mental pictures that the story forms in their mind, the auditory learners learn from the words and voice of the storyteller. Kin aesthetic learners learn by feeling and emotionally connecting to the story.
- Stories are easy to remember
Storytelling helps in effective learning because people can easily remember and recall stories. Learning derived through a rich, well-told story is remembered for far longer than the learning from facts and figures. People also remember lessons learned in life more accurately if they’re part of a story. The goal of any storyteller is to influence and inspire his or her audience and alter their knowledge, belief, and attitudes. Information and dry discussions can rarely leave an impact on people. So to influence people, a well-designed and well-told story is the most effective way to exert influence.
Stories can be about mistakes and failures in businesses told by leaders and what they learned from it. They can be about struggles and achievements. They can be about anything and everything that people can gain any learning and inspiration from. It is because people identify various aspects of a story and relate to it. They imagine how they would’ve responded to in similar situations.
Another benefit for the listeners is that when the leader is telling his personal story, he is offering an insight into his own knowledge and experiences. He is presenting himself as more approachable. He is allowing others to learn and get inspiration from his struggles, failures, and achievements. In short, he is giving them an opportunity of risk-free learning.