Leading with Stories
Combining a stimulating, social session to start things off; followed by a series of snappy and self-directed exercises — we'll be harnessing the power of storytelling to bring more influence and impact to our most important relationships.
While there’s often uncertainty about what ‘storytelling’ means in relation to leadership, what is certain from a social, psychological and scientific perspective is that stories ‘work’.
As managers and leaders we can deploy stories to communicate values, motivate action, develop trust, build our brand, share knowledge, tackle problems, transmit our vision and much more besides. And stories trigger those listening into a state of ‘active listening’ — putting themselves into the picture, making meaning and moving them forwards.
In The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling, Stephen Denning describes a story as ‘an account of a set of events that are causally related’, arguing that storytelling can transform seemingly dry and technical events into compelling pictures of our vision for change. Stories have the power to do what analysis and cold data can’t. So it’s no surprise that storytelling has gained recognition as a core competence of leadership.
“Forget about the microphone, just speak to me. As a friend.”
Leadership fads come and go, whereas stories are culturally fundamental, and have been since time immemorial. We're hard wired to respond to them. And so learning to use stories as a leader is less about learning something new and more about connecting with practices we already know — transposing skills we apply naturally into the world of work, teams and client relationships.
That’s what this course is all about; getting better at storytelling through the application of proven approaches to our immediate opportunities — the ideas we want to get across and the things we want to change.
We'll be combining a stimulating and social session to start things off, followed by a course of micro-learning in the form of snappy and self-directed exercises, reflections and other storytelling experiments to try out at your own pace and evaluate the impact of
What we’ll cover in the session, and in follow on micro-learning:
• Finding the right story structure
• The power of juxtaposition
• Beginnings, middles and ends
• Storytelling as a ‘dialogue between equals’
• Finding your protagonist
• Linking a story to your change idea
• The Peak-End rule
• Templates for communicating who you are
• Linking your story to your listener’s mindset
• Finding the ‘Gleaming Detail’
• Evoking the senses
How the course will be structured:
We’ll first come together a group for a 90 minute facilitated workshop, setting the scene and immediately practicing with some key storytelling techniques, frameworks and approaches in relation to the stories and messages we currently want to get across (individually and collectively). Small, supportive breakout groups will be a part of this.
The session will be followed on by a sequence of snappy, self-directed micro-learning exercises, shared with you directly via email over the next two weeks — ripe and ready for experimentation within your day to day.
Who the course is for:
This course is aimed primarily at people managing and leading others (clients and colleagues alike), and keen to practically harness the proven power of storytelling towards more influence, positivity and purpose in their relationships.