When one brings up leadership through storytelling, many still scoff at the idea. These naysayers state that a leader should simply deliver cold, hard facts.
These people don’t consider the other end of the spectrum. As the leader goes on and on, what their audience hears is this:
A speaker needs to acknowledge that the audience’s attention can be quickly drawn away. Simply stating facts will not cut it. Because leadership storytelling takes place in a workplace setting, it must include a lot of facts. But a persuasive leader presents these details in a way that makes the team react and respond in the right way.
Human resource services have always been complicated because conflict and disagreements abound. It takes persuasive leaders to turn things around.
Discrimination, favoritism, changes, and many conflicts surround the workplace. In recent years, issues with mental health arose. Managers must increasingly manage individuals, and the rise in mental health difficulties necessitates more outstanding expertise and emotional intelligence.
Persuasive leaders can influence their members and help initiate the right mindsets or behaviors.
Why do leaders need to be persuasive?
Your capacity to get things done across all lines is critical to your success as a leader. If you are a persuasive leader, you can:
Maintain positive, trusting relationships within the team
Leaders should develop positive relationships with their employees before informing them about a new direction or approach. Employees may believe the leader is untrustworthy or does not care about their interests if there is never a warm relationship in between.
Human Services often receive complaints about changes that have to be undergone in different work departments. But it turns out that it’s not so much as what changes need to be done as who is the one telling them what needs to be done. When your followers don’t trust you, they are most likely not to believe what you tell them.
To induce certain mindsets or attitudes from their members
Persuasive leaders not only convey goals or instructions to their staff, but they also convince them to be on board. Changing attitudes through persuasion is key to effective leadership.
Whether you are from Human Services, ironing out disputes between employer and employee, especially when issues on mental health are concerned, or a leader smoothing ruffled feathers in your team, your capacity to adjust the ways of thinking of the two sides, specifically to reach a compromise, is imperative.
To increase action and productivity
Without influence and persuasion in leadership, people are less effective. Your people may comply, but their attitude and behavior towards what they are asked to do change. Agreeing and being convinced are two different things.
Your subordinates might agree with you, but that does not necessarily mean they are convinced of what you are telling them. When they agree, they proceed to do the task, but when they are convinced, they go way beyond what is expected from them in a task, thereby leading to higher productivity.
These three are not the only benefits of persuasive leadership. Learn more about them here .
Stories build establishes pain points that your team can recognize. Stories speak your audience’s language, making them truly listen to what you have to say and take the necessary action.
Tips on how to be persuasive through storytelling
Anyone in a position of leadership who wishes to persuade others to their point of view can benefit from effective storytelling. Opinion-based speech is frequently more controversial than compelling, whereas numbers go unnoticed. However, weaved with the correct words and facts, the perfect story can influence people’s beliefs.
Just like in pieces of writing wherein authors use rhetorical strategies to develop the theme of a story, you can use these appeals to convince people to take action or share your belief.
You can use storytelling to appeal to emotions
As the speaker, you want the audience to share your feelings about something. Evoking emotions such as sympathy, joy, and yes, even anger, can move mountains.
Office disputes are typical but sometimes are hard to handle. An HR professional’s or a leader’s skills to persuade the two parties to reach a consensus in a dispute necessitates storytelling. Telling them a story that tugs at their heartstrings would soften the blow of hurtful words and actions that might have arisen.
You can recall previous HR cases wherein animosities were broken down to bring a smile to your audience’s faces. You can narrate a simple story about empathy. All this appeals to their feelings that can bring about a happy ending to the dispute.
You can apply leadership through storytelling to appeal to logic
Logic is the process of presenting your ideas in a logical order that feels so simple and rational to your audience that they can’t think of another option. So, how can you integrate storytelling here?
A part of storytelling is sharing examples. Those examples can come in data, statistics, and other details. Let’s say you are from HR or a team supervisor who needs to convince the operations team that the productivity quota needs to be increased.
Instead of simply stating that the daily quota is increased from this to that, you can showcase some numbers that can explain to readers the gains for that particular action, thereby making them see the benefit.
You can use storytelling to establish your credibility as a leader
You can establish credibility for yourself and your ideas by telling a great tale. Your past experiences as a former team member let your subordinates know that you know where they are coming from. They recognize the fact that you know what you are talking about.
Your credibility propels a team to do action since words came from some who understands it. Compelling storytelling is essential whether you’re trying to persuade a coworker, a team, an executive, a recruiter, or an entire conference audience.
More on leadership through storytelling can be found here.
There are many benefits of leadership through storytelling. Trusting relationships are built, there’s increased productivity, and positive mindsets are developed.
Persuasive leadership requires making a reasonable argument and framing your ideas, approaches, and solutions in ways that appeal to people’s basic emotions and logic. Also, your reputation as a credible leader is at play.
Any initiative can be made or broken by the way it is told. A lousy storyteller can ruin even the best ideas, but a good storyteller can communicate a challenging notion with care and sympathy for their audience. Good storytelling takes practice, but it can have a significant impact on your team when done successfully.
Craft your stories as would your favorite author, and if there’s a Pulitzer Prize for leadership through storytelling, you are sure to win it.