Developing strategic storytelling soft skills is a powerful component of developing leadership skills. Do you currently leave storytelling, and your leadership soft skills, in the hands of other internal or external resources? Or, are you accountable for developing and implementing this skill set, yourself?
After a while, it becomes difficult remembering which stories you are supposed to be telling. Especially when these stories are not your own. Because, when you tell that somewhat universally-applied story of the day, month or quarter, you may not be thoroughly invested in that story. That flavor-of-the-campaign story may not resonate with you. And if you do not buy into the stories you tell, your clients will not buy into them, either. Literally.
Strategic storytelling soft skills do not involve inserting yourself into whatever story you are supposed to be promoting to clients.
First, some professionals I work with take shortcuts. Simply because they perceive these storytelling shortcuts as the easiest tactical path to storytelling. Next, they simply insert themselves into a story and “pretend” the story is theirs. Except, when colleagues and clients ask questions to validate their information, the pseudo-storytellers are not able to answer with conviction. Or, consistency from one conversation to the next.
As a result, their professional credibility is questioned because they do not “own” the stories they tell. Plus, their tactical approach does not represent strategic leadership. So, why put yourself in this vulnerable professional position?
However, strategic storytelling soft skills become powerful when you are telling your own stories.
After all, you “lived” or are currently living in these stories, aren’t you? Plus, when you tell your own stories, your story remains the same. No matter when you tell the story, or to whom. As a result, your story is consistently credible. In addition, as the stories you tell develop over time, you build out these stories. And, as strategic hindsight and foresight prevail, you offer additional insights to colleagues and clients as you tell the story, over time.
Do you perceive storytelling as a tactical exercise on your “To-Do” list? Or as an ongoing strategic leadership invitation to connect your story to colleagues’, stakeholders’, partners’ and clients’ stories?
Take the next steps in developing powerful strategic storytelling soft skills.
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken is a refreshingly extroverted STEM professional and skeptical thinker focused on intentional innovation. She helps people, teams and organizations make hard calls when designing products, services, careers and cultures. These are not easy conversations to have. Her ability to translate cross-functional conversations between left-brain and right-brain thinkers provides different pathways for behavior, response, insight and collaboration. Think of the strategic business and human capital value of moving beyond avoidance or group-think, together. Instead, let your creativity, critical thinking, and leadership skills co-develop together, one millimeter at a time. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock