Storytelling is one of the oldest methods of sharing knowledge between people. They are used to educate, illustrate effects, entertain and pass on valuable knowledge. Conventional communication can become stale and boring. A good story adds interest and spices up a dull lesson. Gabriel describes it as the art of weaving and constructing intimate knowledge (2000). This intimate knowledge captures routines and the experiences of past employees (Liebowitz 2009). Stories get repeated throughout a company and can be a driving force for change and a solid indicator of company culture. These stories frame important lessons, in a creative and memorable way.
Storytelling follows the classic rules for any good story.
- Focus on the positive. How do you reach the happy ending?
- Who is the hero of the story?
- Use a twist or an unconventional plot. How will you get people’s attention?
- Be clear and concise with the story.
- Try to use more than one medium.
- Focus on a clear message.
- Use humour and comedy.
- Feel free to exaggerate but don’t go overboard.
- Can be warnings or opportunities.
It can be very difficult to create a set of guidelines for stories but remember to be away of how influential they can be!
Going the extra mile
If you want to get the most out of this strategy, frame your stories around past accomplishments of employees. Give credit to them and show the rewards they were given. Reinforce positive lessons and how you want future problems solved. Get creative, a great story is always easy to remember.