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Story Telling
 

Story Telling

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The Key Leadership skill - storytelling

The Key Leadership skill - storytelling

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  • Myth #1 Storytelling is about entertainment. While stories may be entertaining, the use of the story is to instruct and lead. Thus, for the leader, storytelling is action oriented—a force for turning dreams into goals and then into results.Myth #2 Storytelling is somehow in conflict with authenticity. In the business world, it is always built on the integrity of the story and its teller. (Guber, 2007)
  • One of the toughest presentations you can make is to your own staff, kicking off a change effort. The Harvard Management Communication Letter notes there are two ways to accomplish this feat:The Burning Building Approach: Describe the current situation in words so dire that only a fool would want to continue in those circumstances -- but be careful not to lose trust by distorting the picture. You then need to give the desire for change you have created an outlet by enlisting energy in designing a solution. "This stage is where most change leadership fails. Because the leader thinks it's her job to solve all the problems the company has, she spends a lot of energy creating a solution beforehand. The result is resentment or indifference from the employees," the Letter says, because they feel if you have it all figured out things aren't so desperate. Instead, reveal the main outlines of a plan going forward, but leave substantial parts of the picture for the audience to fill in. The Promised Land Picture: Begin by describing an adequate status quo -- again in an honest way -- and then deliver, in glowing terms, a picture that has so much allure for your listeners that they are unable to resist the possibility (be it the chance to become rich, or to participate in breakthrough work, or to otherwise fulfill basic human desires). The key is to understand what your audience wants: "If you misread your people and offer them an outsized prize that they're not really interested in, you'll disgust them. Or invite ridicule." If you hit the right note, you then need to enlist your audience's aid in telling you how you are going to reach the Promised Land. Replace your “buts” with “ands.”Don’t disguise statements as questions.Speak in the first person.Describe rather than evaluate.Persuade respectfully, don’t coerce.Seek first to understand
  • People have to be brought into the story viscerally and feel that this is their story, a story they want to be part of. Gardner:The storyteller allows the audience to identify with her and therefore brings listeners to a place of understanding and catharsis, and ultimately spurs action. Tell personal stories.The implicit contract - once aroused their expectations will be fulfilled. —take time to understand what his listeners know about, care about, and want to hear. Then craft the essential elements of the story so that they resonate with those needs, starting where the listeners are and bringing them along on a satisfying emotional journeyTell your story in an interactive fashion, so people will feel they’ve participated in shaping the story experience.Make the ‘I’ in your story become ‘we,’ so the whole tribe or community can come together and unite behind your experience and the idea it embodies.”Use images and word picturesUse examples people can relate toRefer to traditional valuesAppeal to common beliefsKnow your audienceUse repetitionBe positive and hopefulSpeak with passion and emotionShow personal convictionKouzes & Posner
  • Stories provide a way for leaders to connect to the minds and hearts of followers.At the end of the day, words and ideas presented in a way that engages listeners’ emotions are what carry stories. It is this oral tradition that lies at the center of our ability to motivate, sell, inspire, engage and lead (Guber, 2007).Storytelling and leadership are both performance arts, and like all performance arts, they involve as much doing as thinking (Denning, 2005).Truth is an important attribute of both the powerful story and the effective storyteller (Guber, 2007). So, share personal stories as a way of humanizing leadership.

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