For millennia, storytelling to communicate has been used very effectively. From the original cavemen, to our ancestors and now to businesses and marketers, storytelling is a valued tool. In this article, we’ll be looking into why and how to use storytelling to communicate your vision and motivate your employees.
Effectively communicating your vision to employees and customers is important. Ensuring your stakeholders know who you are can be the difference between a customer gained and a customer to gain. The difference between a happy employee who knows the company goals and one that isn’t and doesn’t.
As technology and communication methods progress, it’s becoming more and more important to effectively talk succinctly through all channels. However, this isn’t always so easy. Although one might think that with so much new technology communication has become easier. Really, all it’s done is reinforce the need to perfect the classic communication methods. One being, storytelling.
So here are the reasons why and how to use storytelling to communicate your vision.
“No matter what you do, your job is to tell a story”
– Gary Vaynerchuk
Really, there are dozens of great reasons to use storytelling to communicate your vision. Reasons that cover culture, respect, relatability and more. However, at its core, implementing a storytelling technique to communicate can ensure transparency within the company. Ensuring that everyone involved knows where the brand is going.
Storytelling is a great way for companies to show that they aren’t a faceless organisation. Instead, displaying their transparency by showing that they have personality and culture. When discussing your brands values, goals and vision, it’s important to say what’s needed in a way that shows the overall culture and personality of the brand.
Expressing the culture and personality can be considered an important point because it allows internal and external stakeholders to really know what you’re all about. Storytelling is a great avenue to do this. Whether you do it through a team talk or an advertising campaign, your personality will shine through.
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Relatable and provides more of a stake in the company
Engaging communication through storytelling has a number of perks. But why you should use it? To express your vision. Doing so creates less disconnect between the company management and stakeholders. You should begin to use storytelling to communicate, as it can often position the company as more relatable. In addition, it can capture the emotions of the listener, having them feel like they’re part of the companies journey into the future. As if they too are part of the vision. And in turn, it creates more of a stake in the company and its future as it shows the company can empathise with the individuals.
Implementing storytelling techniques can be tricky. For some, it can be difficult to identify the areas in which effective storytelling takes place and for what reason. For others, their storytelling abilities can be natural. High profile individuals like Steve Jobs, Gary Vaynerchuk (GaryVee) and Richard Branson all exemplify the natural abilities to motivate employees through effective storytelling and communication techniques.
The best way to begin the storytelling process is to develop the strategy and key messaging you want to convey.
As for implementation, an effective way to internally story tell is through team meetings. Allowing the group as a whole to absorb the idea, key messaging and the story it can be powerful along with team building.
Another way to do this is to regularly communicate through technologies such as email and slack. A short message containing lots of content, is often just as good as a longer, detailed story.
Friendly stories are great as they work to get the listeners into a great state of mind. Even if they’re not inherently friendly, they should leave the listener with a feeling of hope.
A story that garners strong emotion is one that will last the longest in the minds of the listeners. For example, if you use storytelling to communicate a happy message, an emotional story will have bursts of joy. A story that engages many of the listeners’ senses by exciting them, is one that lasts.
A story in which allows the listener to feel as though they’re in the story themselves is the kind of story which is the most effective. This is because they feel they can see themselves as the protagonist.
Relevancy is key when communicating to your stakeholders. A funny story can make people feel good, however, it may not relate to the topic of key message you want to express. This is why when you use storytelling to communicate, the key message has to align with the story, or at least circle back.
Communications to your stakeholders can be difficult, especially when breaching the topic of the future. So when discussing the company vision, remember to relate back to a story. You can use storytelling to communicate for any number of reasons. Whether it’s to be relatable, emotional, inclusive or culturally relevant.
But storytelling has an even greater benefit. The way that telling a story can resonate with people on different levels is incredibly effective. Being able to shape ideas and keep culturally relevant is a tool most business people can use. When next communicating to employees and customers, be sure to do it through storytelling.