The Business Case For Storytelling
Since the beginning of time, stories have built relationships, inspired courage and instructed success.
Stories Connect Us
When we share our stories in ways that create a sense of mutual understanding, we form durable bonds of trust. Trust is the difference between people working against each other and people working with each other. Our deepest bonds of trust are not transactional; they are narrative. When we grow trust, we listen to each other, we look out for each other and we value each person’s uniqueness. Shared stories have this power to connect us.
Stories Inspire Us
Not only do facts often not inspire us to greatness, aggressive facts actually cause us to be more deeply entrenched in our sense of defensiveness and risk aversion. Mountains of facts don’t move mountains. Stories do. Stories influence because they speak to our hearts in ways facts cannot. One story can open new eyes to previously unforeseen possibilities. It can inspire us to move from doubt to creativity.
Stories Instruct Us
Life’s most important lessons come through the stories we share. We benefit from the successes and failures of others through their stories. We give others the benefit of our experience through the stories we share. Stories help us learn how to behave, expect and interact. Stories convey subtleties and nuances that aren’t accessible through rote instruction. We find ourselves able to adapt to new situations because stories guide us.
Whether we’re working in organizational, community or educational contexts, stories have a unique power. The more we share stories, improve our storytelling and invite others to share their stories, the better able we are to bring out the best in everyone. No amount of incentives or dictates can come close to the power of narrative. This is the power of stories.