In the cross-cultural training we were leading, the participants leaned in as my colleague, Mike, shared the story of how he and his business partners almost quit the first year they had opened a resort in the Riau Islands because of cross-cultural issues they were learning “on-the-job”. Mike could have simply stated that his first year in Indonesia was very difficult, and then listed the reasons. The learning moment and effect would not have been the same as what the learners received through his story.
Research has shown that when someone is talking and telling a story, the brain activity of the listener is as high as the storyteller. Both are heavily engaged in the process. If we want to engage with our employees, customers, business partners, family, etc., storytelling is a skill to cultivate.
Questions for Reflection: What role does storytelling play in your life? How would being an excellent storyteller effect your influence?