Getting people to listen in today’s world is no small task. But the good news is we all want to be captivated by something or someone. We want to listen. And, because of this desire, the rise of storytelling in the organizational world has reached new
Storytelling has been around since the beginning of man, evolving from cave drawings and tales around a campfire to great literature and Academy-award winning films. Stories are meant to produce an altered state of consciousness, and when done well are rewarded. The prize is the “story trance,” enchanting someone, taking them on a journey and leading them to someplace new in their minds.
Human beings crave this trance.
We watch television and read books. We get on airplanes and watch movies because we want to be taken away and forget our feet have gone numb. We go online and watch YouTube videos hoping to be captivated and see something we didn’t know before. We go to the theatre to watch (or download!) films and we pray that the movie is so good we lose sense of the boundaries of the screen and the people around us.
We’re constantly searching for something that will absorb us, suspend time, and take us somewhere else.
It is steeped in emotion, which is why the corporate world may have been slower to adopt this communication technique. But, there isn’t time to do anything else in today’s unreliable climate.
As business and non-profit leaders seek to motivate in an unmotivated world, they would do well to learn the craft of storytelling. For when it’s done well, people forget their own immediate agenda and are brought into another one. A great storyteller tells how someone or some group of people have changed – and it helps them feel like they could change, too. In other words, do things differently. And, from government to business from nonprofits to academia, organizations probably could stand to to be doing some things differently right now.