I recently received a great LinkedIn question, so I thought I’d share my response in case you’re having trouble with the same issue. I simply copied and pasted my response because I was in a rush. Please excuse any mistakes or grammar issues. Simply said, it was too lengthy to be a post.
I’m listening to your virtual storytelling session, and I can really relate to the way you talk about framing your stories to get people to buy in. Because buy-in is crucial, I engage with CEOs and boards of directors who are concerned about the risk of new strategy. How, in your opinion, can storytelling aid in risk management?
My reply: Hello! I’m glad the session was useful to you. It hardly touches the surface of what tale may do to increase one’s capacity for persuasion and influence. This would be a fantastic podcast or article topic. But let me try to provide a clear response to your query here. First of all, I understand what you’re saying about how important buy-in is and how difficult it can be, particularly when there is risk associated with the proposition you’re “selling” to your market, employees, etc.
Getting buy-in, to start with, is about figuring out how to get from telling someone what they need to do to really making them WANT to do it. This is accomplished through tuning into their unique aches, desires, and associated emotions. Story works so effectively because data doesn’t have emotions, for this reason. Your story can reflect their predicament (and what’s in it for them) in a non-threatening manner that enables them to draw their own conclusions. Understanding why and how Story works is therefore the first step in using it. Most individuals simply understand its significance and then wonder why they don’t employ strategic storytelling effectively.
To summarize what has been said thus far: Story helps you gain support by forging an emotional bond between the speaker and the listener, illuminating the issue THEY are experiencing, and showing how your solution will ease their suffering or satisfy their desire or the emotion you have carefully portrayed in the story.
Let’s now discuss the risk element. When pitching a high-risk proposal or vision, it goes without saying that you should explain why taking the risk is worthwhile and show how it will pay off while minimizing the drawbacks. Your data provide the answer, and the tale serves as an illustration of that data. When you persuade, they both work together. Consequently, you would look for a narrative that merely exemplifies how someone used your vision (product, solution, etc.) and it resulted in a favorable outcome. Remember that the tale is just a tool to convey the data; its beauty lies in the way it humanizes it. Because the story connects to their interests, it makes them care about what you care about. Additionally, using a story to humanize YOU, the “seller” of this vision, is crucial if your “customer” lacks faith in you. When we convince, we are always selling, therefore getting someone to like us, trust us, believe us, and feel like they know us is the goal of selling. Story demonstrates who you are without you having to explain it. Facts reveal. Stories are valuable.
The final point I want to emphasize is that danger and change are frequently interchangeable. People are frightened of the unfamiliar, and innovation and fresh ideas only create the unknown by producing something that has never been seen before. We frequently make the error of assuming that everyone is wary of change. When in fact, their fear of change is a result of their lack of preparation. They may experience the transition and test out the new concept through story, which helps them feel more prepared. It’s similar to how, in order to reduce anxiety, we accompany our five-year-old to school the day before and walk him through the “narrative” of what the day would include.
I hope this helps you achieve what you’re attempting to do by providing a solution to your question. Story is a challenging (or more accurately, content-rich) topic. You cannot attend a class and expect to leave with the knowledge necessary to use it. I have spent my entire LIFE studying it, and I continue to be in awe of fresh findings.
Do you need help with employee engagement and creating a story driven culture? Enroll in StoryImpactAcademy.com today!