Developing storytelling soft skills seems trivial to many STEM professionals, compared to the rigors of their respective professional disciplines.
First, STEM professionals are used to speaking and thinking using discipline-specific language and logic. They are comfortable within that communication environment.
In addition, STEM professionals are exposed to marketing and sales-based storytelling styles, when attending professional meetings featuring vendor exhibitors. However, these stories often leave technical, medical and engineering-based decision makers unimpressed, uncomfortable and, therefore, unengaged. Let’s explore why.
For starters, non-technical storytelling soft skills are not structured according to the logic-based scientific methodology in which STEM professionals are trained.
Therefore, the majority of STEM professionals with whom I’ve worked and researched, perceive sales and marketing storytelling as lacking substance. Then, the majority of post-graduate STEM-based activities – especially in academic and medical institutions – involve pitching to investors about a startup idea. Or, writing grants to government institutions.
Now, to marketing and sales professionals, the majority of the rationale and style used for grants applications and investor pitches is, well, unengaging, uncomfortable and uninspiring. However, use of this dry style is the go-to communication style for STEM professionals. It is reinforced in the professional workplace each day.
As a result, everyone stays comfortable within the soft skills style of their respective disciplines. Talk about a philosophical impasse across the sales-engineering interface®, let alone across the business-operations interface.
Yet, this impasse just may be the root cause of why business units and operations activities are not as productive, efficient and profitable as they should be. Because both sides of the storytelling continuum hesitate to collaborate with each other in order to tell the complete story to investors, clients, patients and donors. No matter what your professional discipline just may be.
Take some time today to read my top posts on the power of collaborative storytelling soft skills. Do they resound with the current scenario within your own organization? It doesn’t have to be that way any more.
- Are You Investor or Buyer Story Pitching when You should be Storytelling?
- Creating a Balancing Act between Hard Skills and Soft Skills
- When Collaborative Storytelling becomes Compelling Storytelling
Then, think about whether your own storytelling soft skills are only half as productive as they could be. No matter on which side of the organizational continuum you reside, professional success requires continuous improvement of soft skills. The goal is to engage, inspire and invite others to become invested to join in the compelling professional stories you tell.
Isn’t it time to start swimming into uncharted waters. Move one millimeter forward, outside your current professional comfort level, today.
- Engage me to speak or conduct an interactive workshop at your next corporate or association event.
- Has what you read Today started you Thinking about tomorrow? Contact me. Let’s create a One Millimeter Mindset™ program that fits your needs.
- Subscribe to my blog. Never miss another insightful post.
Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™, is an innovative speaker, strategist, and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention. Babette’s playbook of collaboration tools, Do YOU Mean Business?, is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Image source: Adobe Stock.