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The Power of a Story

May 24, 2022

by Melody Stacy

 

Once upon a time, there was a leader who told powerful stories that influenced her team and led to clarity and cohesiveness around the pillars of her organization.

The end.

Stories connect us at the most basic level of humanity.

We’ve all felt it.

Listening to someone tell a story and suddenly we’re feeling what they’re feeling, on the edge of our seats, and hanging on each word.

And in the next days, weeks, and even years, we recollect and even retell that story we heard.

The story we felt.

If I ask you to think about something, you can decide not to. But if I make you feel something? Now I have your attention. - Lisa Cron

Stories stick.

How do we harness the leadership power of this most historic and basic form of communication?

According to David Hutchens, storytelling expert and author, leaders must tell four core types of stories.

💬 Origin - what it means to be us

💬 Vision - the future we desire

💬 Values - how our espoused values show up

💬 Change - how we learned from something we tried

As we reflect on how these types of stories show up in our teams, let’s take a look at one way to integrate a values story.

A quick and easy story-telling strategy. 

Throw out this question to your team:

🤔 When you think of our core values (list them), who on our team comes to your mind as living out one of them?

After you've gathered answers, choose one team member per value who was highlighted among the responses. Invite that team member to open up your next faculty meeting with a story that illustrates the core value they exemplify.

Not only will they be flattered that others think of them in this way, but the story they share will clarify and connect your team.

We’re not here to entertain. We’re here to align. - David Hutchens

As we practice our storytelling as leaders, keep this in mind. The important thing isn’t that we are expert storytellers or performers extraordinaire.

The most important thing is that we tell the story.

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