It's time to get emotional.
Stories have been used to hand down learning and knowledge for thousands of years. A good story engages our curiosity, fires our imagination and builds a deep emotional connection. Storytelling is a fundamental human experience that unites people and drives stronger, deeper connections.
Perhaps the first thing that springs to mind when you think of storytelling is a childhood experience of being told a story or a story that you have told a child, doing a different voice for every character. We’re all familiar with traditional forms of storytelling, such as fairytales and legends, and these oral and written stories continue to evolve as they are retold and brought to life in different forms.
But storytelling does not just take place within a pool of lamplight or round a campfire. Stories are part of our daily lives, in the anecdotes we tell to our friends, the books we read, the films we watch and the experiences we share. Stories are also recognised as an important way of connecting with any audience.
Stories are the way we understand and make sense of the world around us. They take many forms, but they usually have some elements in common. Rather than a list of dry facts, stories have a narrative or sequence and they introduce people or characters. We respond to stories, particularly when there is emotional detail, and we remember information given in story form much more vividly. Stories enable us to feel what it is like to be part of something.
Great storytelling captures both our hearts and our minds and has the transformative power to allow us to see the world in a different way than we do if we just encounter
it on our own. Stories are an entry point to understanding a different experience of
In the talent space, I suggest that great storytelling is the silver bullet to brilliant
talent management. An organisations ability to build a deep emotional connection
with people – creating purpose and meaning with those who work there and those
who should but don’t know it yet – is the critical component in creating that sense of belonging and unleashing the discretionary effort that so many businesses seek from their teams.
Storytelling gives people a totally different entry to your brand. It should share what’s real and true to you as a business and take the gloss from the corporate narrative – and when chosen wisely and told well–it’s a powerful tool for persuasion, influence, affection and trust.
Now more than ever is the time for organisations to get emotional. And maybe stories of empathy and compassion and how you’re looking after the emotional and physical wellbeing of your people would be a great first chapter.
What’s your story?