When you use shifting story narratives to persuade, justify or invite people to join your story, the effect is just the opposite. Instead of saying yes, they can become skeptical: of you, your solution and even your organization.
Why? Because people do not intellectually or emotionally co-invest in stories that shape-shift. And considering that, overall, trust is at a premium these days, what stories are you telling?
So, first, ask yourself. Do your story narratives change each time you communicate with colleagues and clients?
Then, ask yourself why. Perhaps you feel that if you constantly tell the same story every time, colleagues and clients will be bored. However, consider that storytelling is not superficial entertainment. A social nicety to break the ice, then move on to the serious stuff. In reality, the story sets the stage for the real stuff. Thus, each story you tell, and stick to telling, clearly communicates a lesson, a parable. Ask the best comedians. Their jokes always have a lesson involved, one they learned and now want you to learn, too.
Develop a communication agenda for when, where and why to tell any type of story in the first place. Contact me here for a complementary conversation about your needs. Then, let’s create a laser-focused two hour one-on-one session just for you.
Next, ask yourself why you selected those story narratives in the first place.
Please don’t tell me these are the stories of the week, the month, or the campaign. Because when your stories move through a revolving door of someone else’s messaging agenda, these stories may lack credibility. And relatability. Even though you are “assured” that these stories will be effective. Then, take a major editorial step: are these stories credible to you? Because if you are not invested in the stories you tell colleagues and clients, neither are they. Period.
Indiscriminately picking and pulling off-the-shelf stories from some platform your company uses? It sounds like that to the ears of listeners, too. Instead, develop story criteria to quickly help you narrow your story selection process if you insist on continuing to tell someone else’s stories. You can contact me here for a complementary conversation about your needs. Then, let’s create a laser-focused two hour one-on-one session just for you.
Finally, ask yourself why you do not tell your own story narratives.
Think about it. Your stories are about something that happens to you and your colleagues and clients. Which is amazingly more credible than telling someone else’s story and hoping listeners connect the dots to their own stories. That’s too much work for them, and the easy way out for you. What do you really ask when you tell your own stories? When you rediscover the stories which had a huge impact on who you are professionally and ethically? And when you decide to tell stories that do not shapeshift. Or are not altered to fit someone else’s agenda or KPIs. Then, you start to build trust between and across colleagues and clients. So everyone gets to where they really need to go, together. One millimeter at a time.
Taking the risk to identify, create and learn to tell your own stories is the key to professional success and cross functional leadership. Are you ready? Then take the next one millimeter step forward and contact me here for a complementary conversation about your needs. Then, let’s create a laser-focused two hour one-on-one session just for you. Masterminds and workshops available for teams as well.
My One Millimeter Mindset™ virtual and in-person keynotes, workshops, coaching and mastermind programs translate across strategic communication and collaboration disconnects between people and professional disciplines. Build trust. Retain employees and clients. Optimize strategic business and human capital value in your organizations. Get everyone to where they need to go. Together. One millimeter at a time. My playbook of communication tools and methods, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Image source: Adobe Stock.