Leadership is a role that requires one to wear many hats. In many situations, leaders may find themselves as planners, organizers, and mentors all at once. With such a huge task on their shoulders, leaders should constantly be eager to learn tactics that will make their job so much easier. One strategy they can apply that has great potential to significantly improve their leadership is storytelling. As to why aspiring leaders should strive to master the craft of telling good stories, check out some of the reasons presented below:
You can use stories to form a connection.
Due to the privileges that come with their status, many managers can appear intimidating to their subordinates even without intending to. Unfortunately, these impressions can make people feel awkward around their superiors and hinder positive working relationships. To solve this problem, leaders can share personal anecdotes that will help their followers see them in a new light. By sharing stories that people can identify with, leaders transform into a warm person that is easy to feel comfortable with.
You can use stories to inspire.
It is hard if not impossible to accomplish something notable if a team lacks motivation or purpose. However, since not everyone has the drive to do more than what is expected, the mission to inspire a group of people can be very challenging. Leaders who are gifted storytellers know how to use the power of stories to push people to give their best at all times. With stories that highlight the role that hard work and commitment play in the road to success, leaders can keep a team’s spirit up and running even during bad times.
You can use stories to educate.
Continuous learning is necessary for a team’s growth. For this reason, a leader is also tasked to facilitate or organize activities that help the team acquire new skills and knowledge.Stories can indeed make learning sessions in a group more interesting. With the creative use of stories, it can also make retaining knowledge easier and this theory is backed by research. According to a research done by psychologist, Jerome Bruner, the possibility of students to remember facts significantly increases if they are told through a story.
You can use stories to resolve conflict.
Group members can sometimes clash and in many situations, the leader has to act as a mediator. Stories that will remind people about the value of each person in the group can help fix this delicate situation. To discourage people from engaging in unnecessary spats, leaders can also present sad examples of groups that allowed small misunderstandings to get in the way of their overall goals.
You can use stories to generate ideas.
Leaders who know how to use the power of stories know how to use creativity to avoid boring their listeners. They do it by freely exploring different ways of sharing anecdotes. Sometimes, the leader can tell stories the typical way, with a fixed beginning and end. Other times, stories can be open-ended and the listeners can either change the plot or design a new ending. These story variations teach people about new possibilities and may help them see things in a new perspective. It would not be surprising at all if sharing stories can lead to new ideas and innovations.
To be a competent leader is no easy feat. You may have to face a long list of skills and traits that you need to master to be one. However, since everyone has a story to tell, how about starting your journey by honing your skills as a storyteller first?