When’s the last time you told a story at work?
Whether you need to get your point across or rally support around your cause, communications experts agree storytelling is the best way to fast-track trust and make you unforgettable.
President and Chief Storytelling Officer at consulting firm Steller Collective, Kindra Hall, has been tapped to teach employees at companies like Facebook, Target, and Berkshire Hathaway, how to harness the power of storytelling in the workplace.
“A perfectly placed, impeccably delivered story can transport a person to a place beyond interested, straight past paying attention, and into a state of complete captivation,” says Hall.
“Whether you’re at the very bottom working your way up or at the top of the hierarchy, storytelling will make you more compelling, more engaging, and more persuasive. All you need to do is learn the strategic skill of storytelling.”
Clearly the potential to be a successful storyteller is there. But where does one start? We asked Hall to spread the wealth and give us a crash course in the art of storytelling, here’s what she shared:
Why should we be telling stories at work?
“Stories are what connect people. Through stories we understand the depth and breadth of the people we work with. It’s how we build trust and find commonalities. All of these lead to stronger teams and better work environments.”
How do you use storytelling in your own life?
“I use stories in networking— so when I reach back out, they remember me. I use stories to close deals– so they can ‘feel’ the impact of the solution I offer.”
What are the types of stories we should be telling?
“Stories of previous successes. Use the stories of times when you accomplished something or overcame an obstacle or thrived in a challenging situation as evidence that you can do it again.”
Interviewing is hard. How should we be telling the story of our careers and experience?
“Choose an attribute or skill you know you have and you know the interviewer is looking for. Then, tell the story of a specific scenario when that skill or attribute was in action. Include what you were feeling as the situation unfolded and details about what was at stake.”
How can we start incorporating stories into our daily lives?
“Every time you have an important message to deliver– whether in email, a presentation, a team meeting– take a step back and ask, what story could I tell that illustrates the importance of the message I’m about to deliver. Instead of going straight to the information, practice starting with a story to set the stage.”
“Social media is also a great place to tell stories. LinkedIn Profiles. Emails. Websites. Anywhere you want to keep someone’s attention and have them come back for more.”