The not-so-secret ingredient that distinguishes a leader from a mere manager is storytelling. And a story habit for relating to others is a skill every leader should aim to have; it’s a helpful tool to ensure that you run a team that’s the cream of the crop.
Every leader’s dream is to have a team with the best members. Only the best can produce the best.
Have you ever wondered why some films, specifically those that belong in a franchise or series, keep on breaking box office records? Is there some kind of formula?
Yes, there is.
That is a team that creates and recreates something that the moviegoers all relate to. And at the forefront of that team is a person at the helm – a leader who has mastered the habit of relating to others.
Film companies are composed of many leaders that can benefit from relating to others. But storytelling is the domain of the creative team. As the leader, you can direct the team toward the desired outcome.
In the same way that relatable stories allow the audience to be genuine in their response, they can also help your team respond with the right action. When stories you tell resonate with them, it will strike a chord that will only bring benefits to the workplace.
So, how can you develop a story habit that would reach out to your team? This article aims to inform you just that.
How to develop a story habit for relating to others
Your story habit must reflect what the others are going through. To do that, you need to learn from other people’s stories.
First of all, you must know your team/audience. Understanding these people will help you determine what messages and content are relevant to them. The idea of relatability is saying things that reflect other people’s experiences, motivations, and beliefs.
For example, you want to inspire your creative team to develop better stories that will stick to the audience’s mind. You won’t be able to push these people in the right direction if you are not aware of what these people have been through. They won’t be moved if they don’t understand what you are talking about.
Second, you must express genuine interest in other people. Doing so encourages them to share their experiences and lessons learned with you.
Once you have all this information, what do you do? You can then share the lessons learned with others. When your creative team lacks inspiration, if they lack the motivation to come up with something that the audience will patronize, your relatable stories will pump them up. It can get those creative juices flowing since they know what you are sharing with them reflects what they are experiencing first-hand.
Lastly, you have to listen closely. When listening to others about what goes on in their lives, you have to pay extra attention. After all, many situations can be unfamiliar. Different people have distinct struggles, solutions, and conditions. If you are prone to careless listening, you might miss key points.
You will not be able to apply relatable stories if you don’t listen with the utmost focus and interest. You won’t be able to tell the right story with the right people effectively.
Learning and applying these steps are just the beginning. The story habit that can help you relate with others is off to a good start.
Benefits of a story habit for relating to others
Earlier, I mentioned telling your team, whether a creative team that brings life onto the screen or some other workplace group, situations that resonate with them. This practice has benefits.
Here are some of those:
It can build trust
Trust is important in a team. When you tell your members stories they can relate to, they will know that you are someone they can trust. Since you know what they want and need, they are comfortable thinking that you only want what’s best for them.
In a creative film department, you cannot expect people to come up with a material that would satisfy viewers if there’s doubt. As the head of the team, you want to ensure that trust abounds. When you share with them stories that resonate with what’s going on in their lives, there’s a level of comfort with each other.
It shows empathy
Relating to others obviously will lead to empathy. Connecting yourself with others allows you to know their pain points. You acknowledge what each one is going through,
No particular approach is right or wrong. It’s just listening, holding space, refraining from judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating, and this can be accomplished through relatable storytelling.
It creates familiarity
Your story habit that relates builds a close association with the people you work with. The members of a creative team don’t function as individuals. Each contribution is part of a whole process.
During team meetings, the session goes smoothly when you start with a story they can relate to. There’s that knowledge: “Hey, this person knows me, understands me.” With familiarity, there’s a closeness, a camaraderie that will bring about unmatched teamwork.
For more on what relatability can do, check this.
Without a doubt, storytelling is the most effective form of communication ever invented by humans. The ability of storytelling to connect with the audience is one of its most vital qualities.
Trust. Empathy. Familiarity. These are all required for a team to function well. You and your team can have these if you develop a story habit of relating with others.
It’s not hard to acquire this habit. It’s a skill you can hone by knowing your audience, expressing your interest, and listening closely.
When the audience relates to a story’s plot, they find meaning in the main message. This quality makes the best stories compelling and allows people to immerse themselves in them fully.
Stories are not just for the movies; a story habit for relating to others is crucial in the workplace.
What are you waiting for? Tap into your inner storyteller now!