My work is a game, a very serious game. - M. C. Escher
I was on a management course at work last week, and one of the topics covered was using stories in the workplace, specifically as part of a manager’s toolkit, but also in other situations one may encounter at work.
Stories can be used as a powerful tool, both in employee coaching as well as conflict resolution. And, apparently, people respond better to stories than cold, hard fact, especially when the stories are real. In this context, a good story is short, real and relevant.
Of course not every one is a story teller, and I found it interesting how, when we were given an exercise in story telling, some had many stories to tell while others had none. Typically, those who had been working for longer than 5 years had good stories to tell, while those who had none had typically been working for less than 5 years.
I found this article on the topic, and I could not have said this any better:
For as long as there has been language, the six most powerful words in
humanity’s collective vocabulary have been, “Let me tell you a story.”
Throughout humanity’s time on earth, stories have been the universal, and
preferred, way of passing down history, culture, tradition, wisdom and meaning.
They also have been used to give meaning to individual lives, family structure,
societies and even civilizations. Of course, businesses have used storytelling
to sell soap, cars, stocks, services and, for that matter, everything else.
And while I do not think that story telling will replace other tools, as a writer it is one that I welcome into the work place with open arms. One just needs to ensure one does not over-use the stories, as they will lose their effectiveness.
I found the following sites with stories that may be appropriate to use in the workplace
Personally, I like to use stories from real life (embellished a little here and there) as I have found people relate to them better, but that is just the storyteller in me.
What are your views on using stories as motivational tools?