Storytelling used to be reserved primarily for children. I remember when my kids were young, toward the end of each evening, we had a story time period which encompassed pulling out a book or telling a story from memory.
Storytelling is now making a resurgence in corporate team building and with team leaders. As individuals compete for the time and attention of others, it seems like the simple act of telling a story is the way to convey your message so the receiver will be eagerly waiting to hear more.
How Do You Engage Your Team? Follow These 6 Simple Steps
You know how to tell a story – whether it was your last vacation, your dating escapades, or something with your kids – you tell your audience something that is interesting, concerning or funny. When building trust with your team, storytelling can be a great mechanism to get you there.
Step #1: Know to Whom You are Talking
When sharing a story, make sure you know the thoughts, concerns and interests of your team or audience. Through your story, what message are you hoping to convey? Will it resonate with them?
Step #2: Remember the Beginning, Middle and End
Just like a great story book, every story you tell should start at the beginning. You can even start with “Once upon a time…” or “On a dark and stormy evening…” and end with “They all lived happily every after”.
Step #3: Make Your Message Simple
Sometimes the simplest stories are the most effective. Don’t use a lot of slides and jargon; tell the story like you are telling it to the youngest of team members.
I remember when my son was 7 years old and he was having a hard time accepting that his grandpa was dying. We were in the car and I turned to him and said, “Brendan, life is for living. Grandpa is in a lot of pain and he would not want to go on like this.” He turned to me, smiled and muttered to himself, “Life is for living.”
Step #4: Tell a True Story
I think we have all learned a few things from the suspension of Brian Williams and Jayson Blair (The NY Times reporter that routinely made up stories). If you are authentic in your message, you will be successful in building trust.
Step #5: If possible, Use Visuals
Weave videos, photos and props into your story. Give everyone a demonstration or a takeaway product that will help them remember that story.
Step #6: Challenge Your Team
Conclude the story by challenging them to take action. To change or compromise. To stop engaging in office drama. To live life to the fullest.
How Do You Engage Your Team? Hire Fun Team Building with Larry Lipman!
Fun Team Building with Larry Lipman is an Atlanta based organization that is ready and willing to help your organization with any team challenges you may have. Give Larry a call at 770-333-3303 to learn more about his storytelling skills!